Geraint Thomas is hopeful the Tour de France can be rearranged for later in the summer as organisers plan for the race to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 107th edition of the Tour was set to begin in Nice on June 27 and conclude in Paris on July 19, but French president Emmanuel Macron has said there can be no mass gatherings in the country until at least mid-July.

The Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) has not made any official announcements as it looks to contingency plans but is now urgently working to find alternative dates in order to avoid a first cancellation since the Second World War.

French newspaper Le Dauphine reported organisers were planning to start the race on August 29, concluding in the capital on September 20. That is later than some other timetables put forward, but would allow riders time to compete in rearranged one-week races in order to prepare.

With viewing figures and coverage which dwarfs all other races, the Tour is seen as vital to the economics of road cycling and every effort will be made to stage it in some form.

"It's the pinnacle of cycling," said Thomas, who won the Tour in 2018 before finishing second to Ineos team-mate Egan Bernal last summer. "It represents the sport and certainly it's the thing that's keeping me going at the minute.

"You've just got that target down the line. It's hard when you don't know when it's going to be to try and stay in that positive frame of mind.

"In my head I'm just thinking the Tour is definitely going to happen. I don't know when but hopefully it does. It would be great for everyone."

Both Thomas and Bernal are targeting the Tour, as is four-time winner and fellow team-mate Chris Froome, who has made it the focal point of his comeback from career-threatening injuries suffered in last year's Criterium du Dauphine.

ASO has already ruled out the idea of attempting to stage the race behind closed doors, something which hardly seems practical for a race on the scale of the Tour anyway.

Cycling's WorldTour has been on hiatus since Paris-Nice finished a day early on March 14, with all subsequent races either postponed or cancelled up to late June. The Tour was the next race left on the schedule.

World governing body the UCI has said it is working with stakeholders to draw up a new road racing calendar for 2020, giving priority to the Grand Tours and one-day Monuments.

The Giro d'Italia, which was due to begin in Budapest on May 9, was postponed a month ago, while the Vuelta a Espana, due to begin in Utrecht on August 16, will now be moved as part of the wider shake-up.