The 107th Tour de France begins in Nice, but even the stunning backdrop of the Cote d’Azur in southern France cannot mask the fact that this is a competition that has been changed markedly by the pandemic.
After a sharp rise in coronavirus infections in France, restrictions were intensified once again.
Only an extremely limited number of spectators will be able to see the race, with the Cote d’Azur region now a designated “red zone” – a virus hot spot.
Initially 5,000 spectators were to have been allowed to watch. Now only a few dozen have the honour of taking in the start and end of the first stage.