Cancelling Giro and Tour de France would be disaster, says UCI's David Lappartient
Canceling the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France are a tragedy for biking, states UCI president David Lappartient whose game has been severely hit by the coronavirus catastrophe.
Several races, such as the Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo, are called off as Italy deals with quickly escalating numbers of diseases and deaths.
The Giro d’Italia, the second-biggest race supporting the Tour de France, is expected to begin on May 9 at Budapest, finishing in Milan on May 31.
Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stated on Monday all sports events from the nation were suspended.
Asked by Reuters about the possibility of this Giro and Tour de France falling prey to the coronavirus catastrophe, Lappartient explained:”That could be a tragedy for our game of course if we can not possess the Giro D’Italia or the Tour de France.”
Cycling blue-riband occasion the Tour de France begins in July and Lappartient expressed some optimism which time that the worst of this coronavirus outbreak might be over.
“Perhaps in summer, we expect, that it’ll following the summit of the peak, reduce.
“So we hope that these races will be able to take place. But we are, due to the situation in Italy, a little more worried today with the situation with the Giro d’Italia.
“We know what the decision from the Italian government is until April 3, but who knows what will be the situation after. So there is a potential risk that the Giro can be canceled.”
The Giro began in 1909 and has been held every year apart from during the two World Wars while the Tour de France was first held in 1903 and has been contested every year since 1947.
Italy has been severely hit by a coronavirus and is second behind China in terms of infections. The number of recorded cases has jumped by 24% over the past 24 hours to 9,172 while the number of deaths rose 26.5% to 463.
France, which recorded its 21st death on Monday, has banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people as the death toll and a number of coronavirus infections continued to rise.
The Paris-Nice race is ongoing, but with infections rising in France, Lappartient said there was a danger that race might have to be canceled too or fans barred from watching it.
“I hope Paris-Nice can go to the end. This is indeed the goal. But maybe the perfect (French state representative) will have to decide whether or not they close for the finishing area without fans and so on,” he said.
“This is not what we want, but if it’s the only solution to organize the race, we’ll have to go ahead with this. So we are in touch day by day (with race organizers ASO).
“We have to follow the situation with the virus and make the best decision at the moment.”