The chance that Paris-Roubaix will be driven without spectators on October 25 is increasing every day. And if the corona situation in France gets worse, even a complete cancellation is possible.
The thunderclouds over the autumn edition of Paris-Roubaix are getting darker. After Liège-Bastogne-Liège, some team leaders were worried by the top men of organizer ASO. Moreover, the corona situation in France is alarming. The measures introduced yesterday in Brussels have been in place for several days in Paris.
Paris-Roubaix may start in Compiègne – 70 kilometers north of the capital and belonging to another department -, but Compiègne is also all hands on deck. One third of the students at the local college tested positive for Covid-19. For the Tour, the French government wanted to turn a blind eye, for Paris-Roubaix that is less evident.
ASO spokesman Fabrice Tiano says no decision on a cancellation has been made yet. “It is true that the current corona levels are not evolving favorably, but Paris-Roubaix will continue for the time being. Also starting in Compiègne. We have not yet decided whether the public will be admitted. ”
A ban on the presence of spectators seems inevitable. In any case, the French government has already imposed a ban on the public for four cobblestone sections. Currently, a thousand people – including riders and staff – are allowed to be present at the Vélodrome at the finish. If the situation in the department of Le Nord worsens – it is imminent – from red to rouge écarlate (deep red, ed.), Access for spectators will be prohibited along all cobbled sections and on the Vélodrome.
Greater chance for Vuelta
For a long time, the Vuelta seemed to be the big round that could not take place. The corona status in Spain is very bad, but especially in Madrid and with the exception of the final stage, the course of this Vuelta is on northern Spanish roads. Regions such as Aragon, Basque Country, Asturias, Cantabria and Castile-Leon are allotted generously. Those regions are sparsely populated and less affected by Covid spread. The chance that the Vuelta will continue is currently greater than is the case for Paris-Roubaix.