Tour de France, Wimbledon, rugby: Covid-19 has once again turned the sport on its head

Tour de France, Wimbledon, rugby: Covid-19 has once again turned the sport on its head

Covid-19 infections are on the rise again, and the sports world is naturally affected. With this seventh wave currently affecting France and the whole of Europe, many competitions are affected by sequential packages of participants. From the Grande Boucle to Wimbledon Park via the rounds of summer rugby, here’s what the consequences will be for the world of sports.

Tour de France: Champion France drafted, positive cases not necessarily excluded

“Getting on a crowded plane for the big departure when 90% of passengers aren’t wearing masks. First stress test.” Even before setting foot in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark where the Tour de France begins on Friday, Roman Bardet is already concerned and making it known on Twitter. Like his peloton colleagues, the Frenchman in DSM training fears contamination with Covid-19.

The Quick-Step Alpha Vynil formation, which has not kept French sweetheart Julian Alaphilippe for three weeks of racing, has already been forced to adjust its plans. The Belgian team has finally chosen France’s last champion, Florian Senchal, to make up for the positive test of Belgian Tim Deleric. After a tour of Switzerland where about forty riders threw in the towel due to Covid-19, teams are taking precautions. France’s Groupama-FDJ team announced on Tuesday that “in light of the health situation,” the pre-departure press conference will be held by video link.

In the face of the possibility of a wave of withdrawals, the rules of the event were modified. Runners who have tested positive for Covid-19 but have not shown symptoms will not be disqualified. Presence or absence of the peloton will be determined based on medical advice.

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Wimbledon: Rafael Nadal’s open table

What if Covid-19 helped Rafael Nadal win his third consecutive Grand Slam after the Australian Open and Roland Garros? We’re not there yet, but the pollution has seriously diluted the Spaniard’s standing at the Wimbledon table. The famous grass tournament, which held its first major match on Monday, has already lost to Croatian Marin Cilic, a potential opponent of Mallorca in the round of 16.

On Tuesday, it was the turn of Italian Matteo Berrettini, a 2021 finalist with a tendency to face Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals, to be forced to withdraw after testing positive for Covid-19. All eyes now turn to unvaccinated Serbian Novak Djokovic, who trained with Marin Cilic on June 23.

Rugby: Fifteenth affected France, England and New Zealand

Even before they left for Japan, the Blues had already been upset at their Covid-19 readiness. The French Rugby Federation (FFR) announced on Wednesday that two players, Emeric Lock and Max Spring, as well as two members of the tricolor team Laurent Labette, had tested positive for the virus. Passively on Saturday, the two full-backs were able to join the rest of France’s 15th squad in the Land of the Rising Sun. The hardest part is logically behind the Blues, whose on-site quarantine was lifted on Sunday in the absence of cases.

But other selections are also affected. New Zealander Will Jordan is the latest All Black team to be forced to abandon a test match against Ireland on Saturday due to Covid-19. Ahead of the Canterbury Crusaders winger, teammates David Haveley and Jack Goodhue as well as coach Ian Foster and his assistants John Plumtree and Scott McLeod tested positive this week.

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England, who have to face Australia three times on their soil, saw winger Johnny May put into solitary confinement on Wednesday upon his arrival in Perth. The player has been restricted and must miss Saturday’s first game.

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