21 April 2020

Sir Dave Brailsford calls for changes to cycling calendar so sport is not 'reliant' on Tour de France

Team Ineos general manager Sir Dave Brailsford believes the cycling calendar needs to change in order to prevent the sport from relying on the Tour de France.

The three-week stage race, which was due to start on June 27, has been pushed back to August 29 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And with all other races currently suspended by cycling's governing body the UCI until June 1, Brailsford is concerned about the financial implications for those involved.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4, he said: "If one event should happen this year, we would all choose for it to be the Tour.

"One of the challenges cycling has is that revenue is totally dependent on sponsors and different sponsors are in different businesses and some are more effective than others in the current climate.

"Modernising the business model going forward would be wise for everybody...(a) better model, which is a bit more diversified and has the bigger races spread among the calendar so we don't rely so much on one race."

The first Grand Tour of the season, the Giro d'Italia, has also been postponed, although a new date has yet to be confirmed.

And the Classics races such as the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, which were due to take place in April, are expected to be re-arranged for later in the year.

Brailsford, who was heavily involved with the successes of Great Britain's track team at the Olympics for many years, has been a part of Team Sky/Ineos for a decade.

Since he joined the project in its inception in 2010, the team have won the Tour de France seven times with four different winners - Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal.

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