It is clear that the Tour de France will not be able to go ahead as planned ©Getty Images

The Tour de France looks certain to be postponed or cancelled after French President Emmanuel Macron said large cultural events will not take place until mid-July at the earliest.

Macron tonight announced that lockdown restrictions would remain in place until May 11, but a ban on mass gatherings will last even longer.

The Tour de France is currently due to begin in Nice on June 27, but that looks impossible given the Government measures put in place in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus.

With almost 15,000 COVID-19 deaths, France is one of the world's worst-hit nations.

Race organisers Amaury Sport Organisation are said to favour postponement rather than cancellation, with several figures within the sport warning that a cancellation could have catastrophic consequences for road cycling because of the loss of income that would come with it.

Road cycling's model may collapse if the race cannot go ahead, Deceuninck-QuickStep general manager Patrick Lefevere warned last month.

New dates for the Tour would seemingly have to be in August at the earliest, as L'Est Républicain reports that Macron confirmed to the publication after his televised address that there will be no Tour in July.

French President Emmanuel Macron addresses the nation today and extended lockdown measures ©Getty Images
French President Emmanuel Macron addresses the nation today and extended lockdown measures ©Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic has already had a huge impact on cycling, with 18 International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour events postponed or cancelled.

The Tour de France is the next race on the UCI WorldTour calendar, although is set to join that list which also includes the Giro d'Italia.

Cycling's other Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España, is currently due to begin on August 14 in The Netherlands before heading to Spain, which may limit the window for rescheduling the Tour de France.

However, with Spain reporting more COVID-19 deaths than France, that race is also in jeopardy.

The three Grand Tours will be given priority when it comes to working out a new men's calendar, the UCI has said, along with monument races.

The Tour de France has run uninterrupted since Second World War.