Coronavirus: Dumoulin has no issue with Tour de France without fans

Omnisport

Tom Dumoulin would not have an issue with contesting the Tour de France in the absence of fans.

The Tour had initially been scheduled to start on June 27 but was postponed when the French government extended a ban on mass gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Organisers pushed the grand depart back to August 29, though sports minister Roxana Maracineanu said on Tuesday there was no guarantee it would still be able to go ahead.

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Major sporting events have been banned in France until September, leading to suggestions the Tour could take place without any road-side spectators.

Dumoulin, the 2017 Giro d'Italia winner, would not be deterred by such a situation if it means the sport can return.

"I'm of course not used to doing a Tour de France without the public, so I wouldn't know how that would be," Dumoulin told Stats Perform.

"But I can imagine that it feels strange and feels different, but once you're out on the road it's just a battle between you and your competitors.

"Racing-wise it will not really change and I will be just as motivated as ever to try and beat my competitors to try and win it.

"I can't really see big problems there, but of course I would like to have a big public there and a lot of people but it's probably just not happening.

"When the situation is like we can race, but we can race without fans, then of course we should do it and make the most of it. It will make for a good show on TV then."

The UCI's re-jigged schedule will see the Road World Championships immediately follow the Tour, with the Giro commencing two weeks later.

The Giro will also overlap with a shortened Vuelta a Espana, with four of the five Monuments taking place at the same time as one of the Grand Tours.

Dumoulin said: "I didn't look at it in detail with all the exact dates and everything, but in general I think it's a good idea to let the biggest races be on the calendar within a timeframe of less than three months.

"So it makes it very difficult and very hard for all organisers and for some races. It's definitely challenging, but it's the best we can do in the given situation. So yes, I'm definitely up for this planning."

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