(Reuters) – The Tour de France affords riders many tests from gruelling climbs to furious sprints but it’s the one for COVID-19 that also can aid the principle to victory when the realm’s greatest biking dash starts on Saturday, says three-time champion Greg LeMond.
FILE PHOTO: Biking – The 104th Tour de France biking dash – Greg LeMond day by day chat with Reuters – Duesseldorf, Germany – June 30, 2017 – Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond poses for Reuters. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
Twenty-two groups and 176 riders will diagram out from Good and if they are to succeed within the Champs Elysees lift out line on Sept. 20 they beget to first navigate 3,484 km (2,165 mi) COVID-19 free.
With the sequence of sleek day by day coronavirus conditions on the upward thrust in France there would possibly be cramped room for error with the Global Biking Union (UCI) enforcing strict strategies to offer protection to riders.
This kind of strategies would learn complete groups excluded from the Tour if two riders from the same outfit take a look at obvious for the unconventional coronavirus within a seven-day interval.
Exclusions, on the opposite hand, also can no longer be automatic and the option can be made by dash organisers and the game’s governing physique, leaving LeMond scared that it opens the door to interpretation.
“If they’ll watch it, they must observe it straight by and would possibly’t hang any exception for the yellow jersey,” LeMond informed Reuters.
While completely different sports actions beget operated in a quarantine bubble, the Tour will expend three weeks crisscrossing France, where the routes are robotically lined with thousands of spectators.
The Tour will try and set into mark social distancing and restrict attendance however the riders also can light be birth to all the things from COVID-19 sabotage to accidental exposure.
“You can be ready to’t preserve watch over the general public,” said 59-yr-used American Le Mond. “But except somebody tries to sabotage the Tour by spitting on the riders, and that has took predicament within the previous, the risks can be low.
“But what if a workers has a obvious? It be critical to isolate the total completely different riders so these are nightmare cases.
“If a workers has a obvious what happens? Does it mean the total workers goes out. Which will no longer simplest trade a workers but trade the total dash.”
LeMond, whois taking a watch to internet aid into biking with the relaunch of LeMond Bicycles and the aim of sponsoring a workers in 2022 partly financed by a brand new line of carbon-fiber eBikes coming out in September, is conscious of there would possibly be simplest so grand officials can hang from riders wearing masks when no longer on bikes to frequent testing.
“I’ve watched the riders they all beget masks on within the starting up but it’s far light a huge experiment,” said LeMond. “It’s miles completely more challenging than setting apart a soccer or baseball game clearly.
“I deem the excellent risks are going to be within the starting up and lift out. If the riders are isolated and they also pause out of contact with folks, hang sure that that the hotels are pretty, where they are getting their meals from that can be obvious.”
“None of the riders must internet sick.
“You read about COVID and it’s far staunch no longer getting sick love a cold, they are exhibiting eternal hurt love irritation of the heart, the vascular machine – as a cyclist you don’t opt that.”
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Bettering by Ken Ferris