Tour de France: Chris Froome doubts spectators will stay away

Chris Froome believes the Tour de France can work without spectators but has questioned how organisers can prevent large crowds converging along the route.

Initially due to start on June 27, the coronavirus pandemic has seen the Tour pushed back until August 29 and doubts remain given the differing Covid-19 situations across the world.

The French government says no mass gatherings can take place before September, but have clarified the Tour could still go ahead on its new dates if the opening stages are managed correctly.

That is one of the main things four-time champion Froome believes will be hard to manage as he continues to prepare for a tilt at another victory.

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“For sure we can put the race on without people standing on the roads and fans in that sense,” the Team Ineos rider said.

“I mean, we can put on the race and it can be broadcast on television. 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 race we need to see this year. I don’t know.

“In theory, we can put the race on but I think the bigger question is would the organisers be able to keep people from actually coming out and gathering in large crowds? I think that’s the bigger question.”

The 34-year-old missed last year’s race after suffering career-threatening injuries in a crash and made his first racing comeback at the UAE Tour in February after eight months away.

The British rider has been hitting the gym first thing every day to try and replicate what he would be doing this time of the year in preparation for the Tour.

“Some days I’m even doing up to six hours sitting on the stationary trainer – big days,” he told former cricketer Kevin Pietersen on an Instagram Live.

“It gets pretty boring at times. I’ve been through every playlist I own about 10 times each.

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