Tony Martin: No Tour de France would be disastrous from a commercial point of view

Jumbo-Visma’s Tony Martin at the 2020 UAE Tour
Jumbo-Visma’s Tony Martin at the 2020 UAE Tour (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Jumbo-Visma's Tony Martin said on Thursday that if the 2020 Tour de France doesn't happen at all as a result of the coronavirus pandemic continuing, then the consequences for professional cycling could be dire from a commercial point of view, and may signal the closure of some pro teams.

A big question mark remains over the running of this year's Grande Boucle, which is now set to run from August 29-September 20, if it's deemed safe to do so. The organisers, and most of the riders, teams, sponsors and fans, would like to see the 2020 edition take place; various health experts, meanwhile, have stated that scheduling the Tour later, or not at all, would be more prudent as the COVID-19 crisis continues, while France's sports minister, Roxana Maracineanu, suggested this week that bans on public gatherings could continue into September.

Giving his opinion to L'Equipe on Thursday, Tony Martin said: "For now, we can't exactly predict the consequences of the possible cancellation of the Tour de France. I think it would be a death sentence for one or two teams.

"Without being too dramatic, I think a lot of sponsors invest in cycling because of the Tour," the four-time time trial world champion continued. "If there is no Tour, then it'd be disastrous for the sponsors from a commercial point of view. I hope we don't get there. But if it's cancelled, sponsors will have to think long term.

"In 2021, the Tour de France will take place – we're relatively certain of that. Before that, there'll be other great races, and there'd still be a lot of interest in the other end-of-season races without the Tour," Martin said, referring to the likes of one-day races the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, which may both take place in mid-to-late October. "But I'd be very happy if the Tour takes place as planned at the end of August."

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Cyclingnews is the world's leader in English-language coverage of professional cycling. Started in 1995 by University of Newcastle professor Bill Mitchell, the site was one of the first to provide breaking news and results over the internet in English. The site was purchased by Knapp Communications in 1999, and owner Gerard Knapp built it into the definitive voice of pro cycling. Since then, major publishing house Future PLC has owned the site and expanded it to include top features, news, results, photos and tech reporting. The site continues to be the most comprehensive and authoritative English voice in professional cycling.