The French Cycling Federation hopes outdoor training can resume from May 11 ©Getty Images

The French Cycling Federation (FFC) has said the organisation of sporting events would represent an "immediate and powerful tool" to support the recovery of the country, as the organisation called for the Government to consider the sport as it plans how to emerge from the lockdown period.

The organisation is hopeful that a three-step plan will be considered to allow cycling to resume in the country after the lockdown concludes, which is currently scheduled until May 11.

The FFC says it has advocated for its members to adhere to the lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, but has been working to ensure the sport will soon be able to resume when the crisis is eased.

It is hoped cyclists will be allowed to resume riding on an individual basis when the restrictions are eased.

"For this, and as a first sign of hope for our licensees, as well as for all of the practitioners, it is determining that the individual practice of cycling can be reintroduced as of May 11," the FFC said.

"It would be unthinkable that restrictions on individual cycling practice could continue beyond this date, at a time when more and more voices, like that of the WHO (World Health Organization), are rising to underline the benefits of the practice of cycling on public health.

"This would constitute real discrimination vis-à-vis our sport when, on the contrary, the bicycle presents an unprecedented opportunity to deeply and sustainably transform mobility in our country."

The FFC said the reopening of cycling clubs' activities would be the second part of its plan,

The organisation said it is working on a plan to demonstrate how this can be achieved while respecting social distancing, ensuring the risk of spreading coronavirus is minimised.

Return of competition would be the third stage of the plan, with the federation saying it has begun work on finding "test formats" which can be applied to fit within restrictions.

Individual time trials are expected to be among the first competitive cycling allowed when restrictions are eased.

The FFC claims the resumption of competitions would help to support France's recovery build momentum needed to emerge from the crisis.

Cyclists have been forced to train indoors during the lockdown ©Getty Images
Cyclists have been forced to train indoors during the lockdown ©Getty Images

"Like other sectors, our sport is at the heart of the social life of our country," the federation said.

"Thus, it greatly contributes to the influence, the dynamism, and more generally to the animation of our territories.

"At a time when our country must initiate a dynamic of economic recovery, our activities, through the organisation of sporting events, represent a strong, immediate and powerful tool to support the recovery of our country.

"This is why, it seems fundamental to us to be able to organize our competitions, in the respect of the sanitary measures defined by the State, as quickly as possible.

"Through these events, we want to give dreams back to our competitors, start to rebuild the damaged ecosystem of the French Cycling Federation and simply take our share in the momentum that our country will have to find.

"These are the conditions for the survival of cycling sport in France, of which one can simply recall, to what extent it is anchored in French popular culture and pegged to its territories."

Doubts remain over whether the Tour de France, cycling’s marquee road race, will be able to take place this year.

The Grand Tour was moved to between August 29 and September 20 due to pandemic, meaning the race will not take place in July for the first time since the end of the Second World War.

This year's edition was due to begin in Nice on June 27 and run through until July 19.

France has been one of the countries hit hardest during the pandemic, with 161,000 cases and more than 22,000 deaths recorded to date.

Only the United States, Spain and Italy have had a higher number of cases and deaths.

More than 2.9 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide since the outbreak began, with at least 203,000 deaths recorded.