Geraint Thomas (2nd L) of Great Britain competes with his teammate Chris Froome (L) of Great Britain on the Champs-Elysees avenue before winning the Tour de France in Paris, France on July 29, 2018. Picture: MUSTAFA YALCIN / ANADOLU AGENCY / GETTY IMAGES
Geraint Thomas (2nd L) of Great Britain competes with his teammate Chris Froome (L) of Great Britain on the Champs-Elysees avenue before winning the Tour de France in Paris, France on July 29, 2018. Picture: MUSTAFA YALCIN / ANADOLU AGENCY / GETTY IMAGES

Bengaluru — Britain’s four-time Tour de France champion, Chris Froome, is unsure if the organisers can fully prevent large crowds from gathering at the race, which has been rescheduled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Tour, scheduled to start on June 27, was pushed back to August 29. Mass gatherings have been banned in France until September, with the country recording about 169,000 coronavirus cases and 25,000 deaths.

“Would the organisers be able to keep people from coming and gathering in large crowds? In theory we can put on the race and it can be broadcast on television,” Froome said in an Instagram chat with former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen.

“You’re not going to get the same scenes as you would get going through these tunnels of just people everywhere and all the rest of it. Maybe that’s the version of the race we need to see this year. I don’t know.”

Froome, who won the Tour in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 and is one victory away from equalling the record held by Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain, is using the delay to make up the training time he lost after a crash in 2019.

The 34-year-old spent more than three weeks in hospital after breaking his neck, femur, elbow, hip and ribs in a high-speed crash while training for the Criterium du Dauphine in June.

“Some days I’m doing up to six hours sitting on the stationary trainer — big days,” Froome said. “A lot of the training I’ve been doing has been indoors so it’s almost prepared me for this whole lockdown period, and mentally I’m able to get through it a bit easier.” 

Reuters

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.