The 107th installment of the Tour de France, the most popular cycling race in the world and one of the three races on the Grand Tours, will be postponed until late August due to the coronavirus pandemic that has been ravaging France and the rest of Europe. The 2020 Tour de France has a new start date and is now scheduled to commence on August 29 instead of June 27.

2020 Tour de France Postponed
The 2020 Tour de France was scheduled to start in Nice for only the second time in its history. (Image: Tour de France)

The International Cycling Union (UCI) which oversees the event decided the Tour de France will now begin on August 29 and conclude on September 20 as the cyclists enter Paris for the grand finale.

“Holding this event in the best conditions possible is judged essential given its central place in cycling’s economy and its exposure,” said the UCI in a statement. “In particular for the teams that benefit on this occasion from unparalleled visibility.”

“It’s great news and a great joy,” said French cyclist Julian Alaphilippe. “I was starting to lose a bit of hope. It’s a great source of motivation for the riders, and it should give the French a lot of pleasure. Whatever happens it will be a great celebration.”

The other two major races from the Grand Tours, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana, will compete after the Tour de France.

2020 Le Tour Route

The 2020 Tour de France originally scheduled its start or the “Grand Depart” in Nice for only the second time in its history. With the new start date set for late August, the Tour de France will still start in Nice.

The first seven pre-mountain stages of the 2020 route will connect through Susteron, Orcieres-Merlette, Gap, Pivas, Le Tell, Mont Aigoual, Millau, and Lavaur.

The early mountain stages include scenic rides from Cazeres to Loudenvielle, and Pau to Laruns.

The treacherous mountain stages in the Alps appear during stages 15 through 18. Those include races from Lyon to Grand Colombier, La Tour-du-Pin to Villard-de-Lans, Grenoble to Meribel (Col de la Loze), and Meribel to La Roche-sur-Foron.

The penultimate stage will be the mountain time trail in stage 20 from Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles.

Colombia Shines at 2019 Tour de France

Egan Bernal made history with a victory in the 2019 Tour de France. Bernal became the youngest rider to win the overall general classification at the Tour de France since World War II. He also became the first rider from Colombia and Latin America to secure a yellow jersey in Paris.

Bernal came into the 2019 Tour de France as one of the favorites to win, but everyone expected his teammate would win back-to-back victories on Le Tour.

Tour de France Winners (Since 2007):
2019 Egan Bernal (Team Ineos)
2018 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)
2017 Chris Froome (Team Sky)
2016 Chris Froome (Team Sky)
2015 Chris Froome (Team Sky)
2014 Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
2013 Chris Froome (Team Sky)
2012 Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)
2011 Cadel Evans (BMC Racing)
2010 Andy Schleck (Team Saxo Bank)
2009 Alberto Contador (Astana)
2008 Carlos Sastre (Team CSC)
2007 Alberto Contador (Discovery Channel)

Bernal’s teammate, Geraint Thomas, won the previous year. Thomas finished in second place in 2019. During the last mountain stages, they both held off Julian Alaphilippe from Deceuninck-Quick Step.

For a week or so, Alaphilippe captured the hearts of all of France last summer. He attempted to become the first Frenchman to win the Tour de France since Bernard Hinault in 1985.

France hasn’t seen a champion step onto the podium in Paris since the legendary “Badger” secured his fifth Tour de France victory in 1985.