Lance Armstrong has urged cyclists to ‘take back the power’ and force more benefits from their teams during the suspension of the tour.
Armstrong, who won seven Tour de France’s before being disqualified and stripped of the titles for doping, said the coronavirus crisis suspending cycling has given the individual riders a chance to unify and demand more from teams.
Some teams have had to place riders and staff on government assistance pay during the suspension of the tour because of the cashflow shortage.
And speaking to his Instagram podcast, ‘The Move’, Armstrong urged the riders the time now is right for those who may fear for their financial survival to unite.
"All the pro riders who are sitting at home now, who are unsure if they will receive their pay next month and if their team will survive this: this is your chance," Armstrong said.
"Now is the chance to start from scratch, get a seat at the negotiating table and take back power. If you don’t seize this opportunity now, you may never get it again.
"Just think about that. Talk to each other as a platoon and unite. You are the actors in the play, and without the actors, the play is cancelled."
France officials mulling Tour de France
Former winner Geraint Thomas is among a growing number of cyclists who are questioning whether this year's Tour de France can go ahead, possibly behind closed doors.
The iconic Tour normally attracts millions of spectators but in France officials are mulling keeping the public out as much as possible to make the June 27-July 19 race take place despite most other sports being cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"The Tour de France would not be the same without fans," the 2018 winner Thomas told Britain's Daily Telegraph on Monday.
Thomas, 33, said he is itching to race again in a season where everything has been suspended for weeks and a return to action not foreseeable, as long as it is safe to compete.
While football's Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics lead the postponed events, race organisers and French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu still aim to stage the 107th Tour, if possible, and with major restrictions for the public, if necessary.