Tour de France winds down with socially-distanced finale


3/3
© Reuters. Tour de France

2/3

By Johnny Cotton and Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) – The Tour de France drew to a low-key close on Sunday as riders in the world’s greatest cycling race paraded before a sparse Champs Elysees finish-line crowd depleted by social distancing.

For the race’s 21st and final stage, coronavirus restrictions limited spectator numbers at the finish to 5,000, significantly lower than previous turnouts.

But the atmosphere on the French capital’s most famous avenue remained festive, with the thinned-out spectators punctuated by Slovenian flags to honour winner Tadej Pogacar.

Few minded a downbeat finish after the dramatic upset of the Tour’s penultimate day – when 21-year-old Pogacar seized the overall lead from compatriot Primoz Roglic with a time-trial surge that surprised even himself.

“All the Slovenians who want to be here are here,” said Dehan Silar, a cycling fan who flew in from Ljubljana earlier on Sunday for the finale. “We are here with our hearts.”

As the global pandemic forced the cancellation of major sporting events, organisers agreed to a two-month postponement of the Tour, initially scheduled to start in June. Fans were barred outright from finish lines on earlier stages in French regions with high COVID-19 infection rates.

“It’s a bit of a shame for the cyclists because there are fewer people, but for us it means we can see better,” said one Parisian spectator who gave his name as Jean.

Besides a competitive final sprint, with no bearing on overall race leadership, the final ride into Paris has for years been a largely processional end to the contest, which this year followed a 3,484-kilometre (2,165 mile) course over three weeks.

READ  Coronavirus: Air and cruise shutdown to cost UK more than £40bn
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





READ SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here