Schachmann backs Tour de France rescheduling decision

By Sports Desk April 15, 2020

Maximilian Schachmann believes it is vitally important for the rescheduled Tour de France to go ahead, as long as it is safe for the athletes.

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the postponement or cancellation of events across the sporting calendar.

An extension of the ban on large gatherings in France until mid-July meant cycling's biggest Grand Tour event would have to be pushed back or scrapped and, on Wednesday, the UCI confirmed new dates had been set.

Le Tour will now take place between August 29 and September 20, a decision welcomed by Schachmann, who won his first stage race at the shortened Paris-Nice event last month.

"I am happy that the decision was made earlier than it had been planned," Schachmann told Stats Perform.

"The decision was [not] about to be made until 15th of May. Now it was made about one month earlier than expected, which is really good for all athletes.

"We all have a better plan for our future now. I also think the decision was quite reasonable, because it was quite utopian to believe that the Tour de France could start at the end of June. In my opinion, this plan is the most realistic one.

"It would be a heavy hit for professional sports, if the tour was cancelled. Cycling is a commercial sport like football or tennis.

"I am a professional sportsman as well, so I want to do my job if it is possible. As I already said, I am always happy if the Tour is about to take place, but only if all aspects like the health of the athletes, have been clarified.

"If this can't be guaranteed you would have to think about cancelling the Tour because you can't postpone it any further. If we have reached a level by the end of August, where events like the tour can take place again, I am really happy to take part in this event."

Schachmann also acknowledged that the famous event may have to take place without spectators present if coronavirus infection rates across Europe rise again in the coming months.

"To be honest, I did not think about this possibility by now," the German added.

"Within the last weeks we have seen how fast things can change. The infections are declining in almost every country. Now we have to see if the numbers of infections are about to rise again if the actions of containment are relaxed.

"This development will be decisive for if the Tour will take place with spectators or without."

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