You heard it here first. The 2020 Tour de France will not be taking place as scheduled. Riders can stow their power meters, their drug bags, and their downtube motors. Time to focus on what’s really important in life, by which I mean indoor training.
Simply put, there is no way the TdF can take place this year. The plug was pulled today on the Olympics; the cancellation of the Tour was announced in a private communique from the race’s organizers to the world’s preeminent cycling news journalism bureau, Cycling in the South Bay.
This is the only time in history that the Tour has been canceled in peacetime. CitSB sat down with Tour chief Christian Prudhomme to discuss this momentous decision.
CitSB: First off, thank you for sharing this incredible scoop with us.
CP: My pleasure.
CitSB: Can you explain why you chose to share it with CitSB instead of, say, L’Equipe, Le Mond, or even the NYT.
CP: We were looking for a publication that was respected, that had impeccable credentials, and that was at the pinnacle of cycling journalism. Naturally that left us with only one choice.
CitSB: Wow. Thank you. So with regard to the cancellation. Was it a tough decision?
CP: We had to choose public health over profits. That’s the very antithesis of professional sport.
CitSB: I see. What was the tipping point? The cancellation of Flanders, MSR, and Roubaix?
CP: No. We were swayed by reports from domestic wine producers.
CitSB: I don’t understand.
CP: During our current lockdown, people have begun hoarding wine. Wholesalers and retailers have assured us that by July there will be only limited quantities of alcohol available in France, with preferential supplies going to governmental employees.
CP: We cannot have the world’s biggest and longest outdoor drunkathon on public streets without alcohol.
CitSB: Were there any other considerations?
CP: Of course.
CitSB: Such as?
CP: We did not want to appear that we were celebrating during a time of crisis.
CitSB: That’s impressive. The Covid-19 pandemic has cost so many lives and disrupted so many others.
CP: Well yes, but I was referring to the caviar shortage that has so greatly impacted us all.
CP: Well, not you, of course. I don’t mean the little people.
CitSB: Of course not. Some people, notably Patrick Lefevere, have said that without the Tour the entire business model of pro cycling will collapse.
CP: (Sighs) That is true.
CitSB: Does that concern you?
CP: Not so much. The cyclists are little people, too. They will find other work. McDonald’s will never go bankrupt, even in France.
CitSB: But without a functioning pro peloton, how will the Tour come back?
CP: We have made plans for that already.
CitSB: Can you share them?
CP: Of course. We are planning to invite masters racers in 2021.
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