Tour de France asks for date shift to avoid clash with Oly

Source :IANS
Author :IANS
Last Updated: Tue, Jun 30th, 2020, 19:47:50hrs

Copenhagen, June 30 (IANS) The Tour de France organisers has asked for the dates to the start of its 2021 race to be shifted so as to not clash with the Tokyo Olympics. The Amaury Sport Organisation has requested the moving of the Grand Depart in Copenhagen, according to Danish outlet DR.

"I can confirm that we have received a request from the Tour de France management that they would like to discuss the contracted dates they have with us for when the Tour should start in Denmark in 2021," Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen, the chairman of the local Organising Committee, said to DR.

The Grand Depart of the prestigious multiple stage bicycle race is scheduled to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark on July 2. Two flat stages are then scheduled to be held in the country on July 3 and 4 while the dates for the rest of the route in France are yet to be finalised. However, it could run until July 25 and the postponed Tokyo Olympics is scheduled to start on July 3.

Pushing back the Grand Depart could also cause a logistical nightmare in Copenhagen as the city is scheduled to host a Euro 2020 last-16 match on June 28.

"When you have a contract with one another, and one says they have some challenges with the contract, then of course you have to talk together.

"This is where we start, also because we have approached the Tour de France management in the past because we had some challenges with football.

"Now they are the ones who approach us. Now that we have mastered the football and settled on the dates, it obviously presents big problems if the dates have to be moved around."

Jesper Moller, the President of the Danish Football Union, suggested that the Euro 2020 last-16 match would not be changed by organisers UEFA.

"If the Mayor of Copenhagen asks us to take a look at it, then of course we are looking at it," Moller said.

"[But] it is UEFA's tournament, it is UEFA's matches, and from UEFA's point of view, the match programme is firm."

This year's Tour de France is due to run between August 29 and September 20, after its original start date of June 27 proved impossible due to COVID-19. The Grand Depart of the Tour is usually held outside of France, although it was held last year in the city of Nice.