With 12 positive tests, the specter of Covid-19 haunts the Tour of Spain

With 12 positive tests, the specter of Covid-19 haunts the Tour of Spain

Concern is growing within the peloton: since the start of the Tour of Spain on August 19 in Utrecht (Netherlands), twelve riders have tested positive for Covid-19, as the Vuelta approached its tenth stage on Tuesday, a solo experience between Elche. And Alicante.

Monday, during the day of rest, the names of Matthias Norsgaard (Movistar) and Jared Drezner (Loto Sudal) were added to the list of people displaced due to a positive Covid-19 test.

12 of the twenty leaks that have occurred in the peloton since the beginning of the Spanish episode are linked to a positive test and the acceleration of the virus’s spread in the peloton in recent days, with nine cases detected between Friday and Monday.

“It’s a real pain. Tests continue to put pressure on the teams, but we have to beat it. If you feel bad, you won’t run anyway. The French AG2R team climber Ben O’Connor, including two riders, Italians Andrea Vendram and Finn Jaco, said. To AFP on Monday, I think it should be the rules, not a test, and Haninen’s test results came back positive on Friday.

Among the dropouts, we also find Frenchman Anthony Delablas (Arkéa), Wout Poels (Jumbo), the lieutenant of triple title-holders Primoz Roglic, or Pieter Serry (Quick-Step), his current red jersey teammate Remco Evenepoel.

The Dutch DSM squad even had three dropouts since the start of Vuelta: Mark Donovan and Nikias Arndt tested positive for Covid-19 and Henri Vandenabeele threw in the towel with leg pain.

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The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced on August 9 that it will implement the same health protocol on the Vuelta as on the Tour de France. Thus, the UCI “strongly recommends daily monitoring by antigen testing for all team members (riders and staff), whether or not they have been vaccinated.”

In July, seventeen riders were forced to abandon the Tour de France due to Covid-19, including four-time event winner Chris Froome, France’s Guillaume Martin and Warren Bargel, and New Zealander George Bennett or Dane Magnus Kurt Nielsen. The tenth stage in Megève.

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