Relief on the Tour de France. While the riders are enjoying a rest day this Monday, July 11, the International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced that the Covid detection tests, carried out the day before on the entire peloton, had not updated no positive cases.
The tests were carried out on Sunday evening, when three riders had to leave the race since the start in Denmark, after having tested positive for Covid. The French Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën) and the Norwegian Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE), a teammate of the Slovenian yellow jersey Tadej Pogacar, left Saturday morning before the start of the 8th stage. The Frenchman Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) imitated them the next morning.
After the runners, the management
“All the riders participating in the Tour de France were tested on the evening of July 10. All the tests were negative”, formalized Monday morning the UCI. However, insisted the international federation, “The rules put in place two years ago in the interest of everyone’s health and safety continue to apply. These include the requirement to wear a mask, maintain sufficient physical distancing and frequently sanitize your hands.”.
After the riders, it is now the members of the management of the 22 teams who must undergo a test on the occasion of this day of rest. The new wave of Covid, which particularly affects France, has already caused departures in the management of several teams, both in staff and in group management. The Quick-Step team alone has had to call on three new sports directors since the start of the Tour.
Following the cascade of abandonments recorded in mid-June at the Tour de Suisse due to positive tests, the health protocol was updated before the start of the Tour by the International Cycling Union (UCI). The tests are compulsory before the start and during the two rest days of the event in Morzine and Carcassonne, riders and team personnel included.
In the event of a positive test, the protocol provides that “the decision on possible isolation will be taken collectively by the doctor of the team concerned, the Covid-19 doctor for the event and the medical director of the UCI”.
In an interview with the newspaper L’Équipe, Guillaume Martin, who felt in good shape, criticized this point of the protocol: “It’s a big artistic blur and that’s where I have it bad. I had stuck with the idea that the protocol had been arranged so that a positive but asymptomatic runner could continue. I was thinking of entering this box. “. Nevertheless, the Norman runner admitted that his last PCR test “revealed a fairly low R rate, so my contagiousness was quite high”.
(Archives – Video from July 6, 2019)