Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins says coronavirus will have 'devastating' impact on riders' livelihoods
Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins has warned of the major impact coronavirus could have on riders' livelihoods.
The five-time Olympic gold medallist was discussing on his podcast 'The Bradley Wiggins Show' the postponement of races such as the Giro d'Italia, as well as the potential of the biggest race of the road season - the Tour de France - being cancelled.
And he was determined to make the point that although for many sport is not seen as an important cornerstone of society, for the riders it is the way they make their living.
He said: "If something like the Tour de France was to go at the expense of the virus, it would be a great shame for the riders considering the amount of work they have put in.
"This is their livelihoods. We keep saying it's only sport, but, for these guys, with the financial implications for the sponsors and the teams, this could be devastating for them."
Wiggins also said he had spoken to former team-mate and madison world champion partner Mark Cavendish about his preparations prior to COVID-19 decimating the cycling calendar.
"I spoke to Cav last week, and he was just about to travel down to Nice to do some training down there, Wiggins added.
"He'd been training quite hard in preparation for this season, as we know how big of a year this was going to be for him, coming back with Bahrain and really wanting to make a point, make a statement.
"It's frustrating from an athletic point of view for the likes of Cav, because this was a big, big year for him, and of course we all know what his race is – the Tour de France – coming back this year after not making the squad last year.
"So from a personal sporting aspect for someone like Mark Cavendish, it's going to be a shame if something like this disrupts his opportunity."
The Tour de France, which is due to start at the end of June, has not yet been suspended, but discussions are ongoing.