Aug 29, 2020 - Sports

The Tour de France bubbles

Cyclists during the 107th Tour de France 2020, Stage 1, on Aug. 29.

Cyclists during the 107th Tour de France 2020, Stage 1, on Aug. 29. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

The 107th Tour de France started its 2,156-mile journey around France on Saturday, around seven weeks later than its traditional July start time and amid a global pandemic that's currently worsening across Europe.

Why it matters: Though Tour de France cyclists have been germ-conscious for years now, health protocols for teams and riders have never been more important than this year's race, the Wall Street Journal reports.

How it works: Every team will consist of up to eight riders and 22 staffers, and all members must receive regular testing and remain sealed off from the outside world as they travel around the country.

  • Teams have been warned against giving autographs, dining at buffets and having roommates.

The big picture: France is currently experiencing a surge of new cases. The country reported 7,462 new cases on Friday, its largest single-day jump since May 16, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

  • Riders started the first stage of the race from the southern city of Nice. They're set to end in Paris on Sept. 20, though that is subject to change, the New York Times reports.
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