All 165 riders at the Tour de France tested negative for Covid after testing performed on Sunday evening
The rest day covid tests were performed after the finish of stage nine, and were administered by the UCI and the Tour’s organisers, the ASO.
A statement from the UCI (opens in new tab) confirmed the news on Monday morning, saying that all tests had come back as negative.
On Sunday, riders were immediately tested as they made their way back from the stage finish, a stage which was won by Bob Jungels.
The statement reads: “In accordance with the “Rules for the organisation of road cycling competitions in the context of the coronavirus pandemic” established by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and recently updated for the Grand Tours, all riders participating in the Tour de France were tested on the evening of 10 July.
“All tests were negative.”
With the statement there was also a reminder to all race participants of the wider covid rules put in place.
“However, the UCI reminds all participants that the rules introduced over the last two years in the interests of everyone’s health and safety continue to apply. These include the obligation to wear a mask, to maintain sufficient physical distance and to disinfect hands frequently.”
Race leader Tadej Pogačar’s UAE Team Emirates teammates all returned negative results. This comes despite the news that Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates) tested positive last week and was sent home from the race as a result. Matteo Trentin, who was scheduled to ride for UAE, also tested positive and did not make the start in Copenhagen.
Guillame Martin (Cofidis) and Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën) both did not start stage nine yesterday due to returning positive covid test results over the weekend. Laengen, Martin and Bouchard are the only withdrawals so far which are due to the virus.
Monday’s news will come as a relief to race organisers, as there was worry that Covid would impact the Tour with numerous riders being forced to go home. The race will therefore resume as expected on Tuesday.
Under the new UCI rules introduced before the Tour, a team no longer has to head home if two riders test positive, and the door has been opened to asymptomatic people to remain in the race if they are not transmitting it, as is the case of Bob Jungels (AG2R Citroën).
Teams will now not be obliged to test their riders until the next rest day, at which time the nerves about Covid positives will creep up again. Some teams are doing rapid tests every other day, but most are not.
“We’re not,” Ineos Grenadiers’ Tom Pidcock said. “There’s no point testing if you don’t have symptoms, it’s a normal illness. If you’re ill, you’re ill. It’s simple. It’s not like if you’ve got Covid and you’ve got no symptoms you go home. We test when we need to test.”
Tuesday will bring stage ten, and a second day in the Alps, without the stress of Covid immediately.