The Tour de France could still go ahead as planned behind closed doors, it has been claimed.
The 2020 race is set to take place between 27 June to 19 July but with the coronavirus pandemic decimating sporting schedules across the globe organisers are being forced into contingency plans.
One possible solution being considered is having the whole Tour take place without fans in attendance with broadcasters all over the world having already paid for the right to show it on television.
French minister for youth and sport Roxana Maracineanu conceded it was too early to make any definitive decisions but that many options were on the table.
“The economic model of the Tour de France is not based on ticketing but on TV rights,” she told France Bleu.
“During this period of confinement, everyone is being very careful and aware.
“Everyone understands that they have to stay at home, therefore watching television rather than attending any live events.
“As a result, it wouldn’t be too difficult to have to have to watch the Tour on television [rather than from the roadside].”
Sporting tournaments all over have been cancelled or postponed as the virus continues to spread with May’s Giro d’Italia already having been called off.
Moving the Tour later in the year could be another avenue while former UCI president Brian Cookson advocated shortening the race by a fortnight earlier this week.