It has been announced that the 2020 Tour de France will be beginning on 29 August, after the French government extended the ban on mass gatherings to mid-July.

The Tour de France was supposed to run from 27 June to 19 July, however it was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The UCI, the sport’s governing body, said: “Holding this event in the best conditions possible is judged essential given its central place in cycling’s economy.”

Four-time winner Chris Froome will be returning to 2020’s Tour, after missing 2019’s race due to a high-speed accident which caused him to break his neck, femur, elbow, hip and ribs.

Froome said via a tweet: “The news many of us have been waiting for. Some light at the end of the tunnel.”

The other three-week Grand Tour cycling races have also been re-scheduled for later in 2020.

The Giro d’Italia, which was originally to be staged in May, and the Vuelta a Espana, which was supposed to take place in September, will now be raced after September’s World Championships. These races have been rescheduled as part of the UCI’s plan to stage all major cycling races this season.

The World Championships will be held in Switzerland, and will go ahead as planned from 20-27 September, meaning the Tour de France will finish on the same day the championships begin.

The UCI said in a statement that Milan-San Remo, Liege-Bastonge-Liege, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix “will all take place this season, at dates still to be defined.”

La Course by le Tour de France, the women’s version of Tour de France, was originally supposed to take place on 19 July, however it will now be taking place “during the Tour de France 2020”.

The UCI clarified that the calendar will remain dependant on the “world health situation”, meaning the races may have to be rescheduled if the Covid-19 pandemic continues.

UCI President David Lappartient added: “We still have work to do to finalise the establishment of an entirely revised calendar”.