Tour de France pushed to August after president Macron extends lockdown

The Tour de France has been officially postponed to 29 August owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, and will finish on 20 September, the organisers Amaury Sport Organisation confirmed on Wednesday.

Cycling's two other three-week Grand Tour races have also been rescheduled for later this year, as part of a plan by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to stage all major cycling races this season.

Many large-scale sporting events scheduled to take place this summer have either been called off, such as Wimbledon, or pushed back by a year, such as football's European Championship and the summer Olympics.

The UCI said that the calendar will remain dependent on the "world health situation", with the body's president David Lappartient saying "we still have work to do to finalise the establishment of an entirely revised calendar".

The UCI also confirmed that the road race world championships in Switzerland will take place immediately after the Tour.

The decision to move all major events on the international cycling calendar to the end of the season follows confirmation on Monday by the French president Emmanuel Macron that France’s lockdown would continue until 11 May and that major events bringing together large groups of people would not be possible until mid-July at the earliest.

Meanwhile, the women's version of the Tour, La Course by le Tour de France, was initially scheduled to take place over one day on 19 July on the Champs Elysees in Paris. However, Tour organiser ASO said it will also be postponed and instead take place during the Tour de France 2020.

Tour de France joins a number of large-scale sporting events such as Wimbledon and the Olympics that have either been called off or pushed back by a year, this includes the European Championship.