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Tour de France race director tested positive for COVID-19

8 September, 2020

Christian Prudhomme race director tested positive for COVID-19 and left the race after 841 swab tests were carried out on race officials, riders and team staff during Monday’s first day of rest

The director of the Tour will now quarantine for seven days,” according to a statement from race promoters ASO. “Although he was not part of the ‘race bubble’ and had not been in direct contact with any of the riders and their entourage, Christian Prudhomme still decided to get tested.”

This is the expected verdict after the rest day, which provided that the entire running bubble would be checked to ensure the necessary health levels for the group.

The peloton is safe after race director tested positive

No positive between the 166 riders in the race , but inevitably there are still some positives. These are four staff members, belonging to AG2R La Mondiale , Cofidis , INEOS Grenadiers and Mitchelton – Scott, and a member of ASO.

French health authorities and organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) had said that should two members of a team, riders or staff, test positive for the novel coronavirus, the whole team would be excluded from the race.

The race director Christian Prudhomme , who therefore had to exclude himself from the caravan for at least a week after tested positive.

“This is the third testing campaign since the beginning of the Tour. A fourth is scheduled, with the same conditions, for the next day of rest, in Isère on the 14th September. A total of 841 tests were performed.”

In accordance with the health protocol of the Tour de France developed in compliance with the rules to be applied for the resumption of the road cycling season in the context of the coronavirus pandemic established by the UCI, all the “racing bubble” was tested during the days of the 7 and 8 September. 

All team members, riders and staff had until 1100 GMT on Monday, the Tour’s first rest day, to take a test in a mobile laboratory provided by organisers.

Four staff members of the Lotto Soudal team left the Tour two days before the start after two of them returned positive tests for COVID-19.

Riders react to Tour de France fans not wearing masks before race director tested positive

Riders have expressed concerns that spectators were not being cautious enough, with some of them running alongside the peloton without wearing masks.

race director tested positive
This prompted the professional riders’ association (CPA) to issue a statement asking all fans to wear masks.

During the stage eight in the Pyrenees, many pictures showed fans with their masks pulled down as riders tackled the Peyresourde.

“To cycling lovers: Respect the riders, respect yourself, respect the distance and wear a mask,”

The CPA said in a statement.

The race organisers have decided that 26 climbs would be closed to motorized vehicles in order to avoid mass gatherings, leaving spectators having to walk or cycle up the road to see the peloton in mountain passes.

Israel Start-Up Nation’s Dan Martin says that while the risk of catching coronavirus from a roadside fan isn’t massive, everyone who comes to watch the Tour has their part to play to make sure the race gets to Paris, not to mention the risk that spectators could pose to each other as coronavirus cases continue to tick back up in France.

“Obviously all the science says there’s not a massive risk as far as us catching it from a roadside fan and even within the peloton, but at the same time, is it really worth the risk?” Martin said.

France recorded almost 9,000 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, setting a record since the beginning of the pandemic.

Written by: Berthy Perez