Tour de France to start on August 29 amid calls for modernisation | Sunday Observer

Tour de France to start on August 29 amid calls for modernisation

3 May, 2020

Cycling should modernise its business model to end its reliance on the Tour de France in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, says Team Ineos principal Sir Dave Brailsford.

The postponed 2020 Tour de France is now set to start on 29 August.

Teams rely on sponsorship for most of their revenue and the Tour provides the most exposure for sponsors.

“If one event should happen this year, we would all choose for it to be the Tour,” Brailsford told BBC Radio 4.

Speaking to the Today programme, Brailsford said the Tour is the biggest race in the calendar “by quite a long way”.

“One of the challenges cycling has is that revenue is totally dependent on sponsors and different sponsors are in different businesses and some are more effective than others in the current climate,” he said.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) is still planning to stage all major races this season, with the two other three-week Grand Tour races, the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana, rescheduled for after the Tour de France and the Road World Championships in September. The postponed ‘monument’ one-day races - Milan-San Remo, Liege-Bastonge-Liege, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix - will also take place on dates yet to be decided.

The UCI faces a tough task to fit in all these races in October and November, when cold and wet weather in Europe could also play a factor. (bbcsport)