Chris Froome (right) won the Tour de France in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Britain’s Chris Froome thinks the Tour de France can work without spectators but does not know how organisers can stop large crowds from attending.

The Tour, originally due to start on 27 June, is now due to begin on 29 August.

No French mass gatherings are allowed before September, but the government has said the Tour could start in August if the first stages were carefully run.

“Would the organisers be able to keep people from coming and gathering in large crowds?” said Froome.

The four-time Tour champion, speaking on an Instagram Live chat with former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen, added: “In theory we can put on the race and it can be broadcast on television.

“You’re not going to get the same scenes as you would get going through these tunnels of just people everywhere and all the rest of it.

“Maybe that’s the version of the race we need to see this year. I don’t know.”

The 34-year-old Team Ineos rider missed last year’s race after suffering career-threatening injuries in a crash and has been exercising indoors because of the coronavirus lockdown, trying to replicate what he would usually be doing to prepare for the Tour.

“Some days I’m doing up to six hours sitting on the stationary trainer – big days,” added Froome.

“It gets pretty boring at times. I’ve been through every playlist I own about 10 times each, but I’m just getting through it and doing the best I can.

“A lot of the training I’ve been doing has been indoors so it’s almost prepared me for this whole lockdown period, and mentally I’m able to get through it a bit easier.”

By user