Two months later than planned and under the shadow of a COVID-19 pandemic, Tour de France rolled out from the French Riviera on Saturday. Cyclists will peddle to the Paris finish line in three weeks.
The prestigious global cycling tournament carefully tracked by fans from 190 countries had been scheduled to kick off in June.
Stage one embarks from Nice’s iconic Promenade des Anglais for a 154km loop. Saturday’s Promenade des Anglais start line in Nice allowed just 100 spectators. But the current French government law limits public gatherings to 5,000.
On Thursday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex put Nice on a Covid-19 “red zone” list with tightened health protocols. Organisers have confirmed that any team, including riders and support staff, which reports two cases of Covid-19 will be immediately expelled from the event.
Belgian team Lotto has already sent home four of its members after one positive test and one “suspicious” result.