The entire Tour de France peloton was authorized to continue, this Tuesday in the 16th stage, after the negative results in the covid-19 detection test carried out on Monday, sources from the organization reported.
No participant in the test has tested positive in the different tests to detect covid-19 completed for three weeks.
Following the sanitary protocol validated by the French authorities, the Tour riders were checked twice before the start in Nice. Then they had to pass tests on the two days off, the second on Monday in the department of Isere.
“This means that the measures taken are effective,” said Tour Director Christian Prudhomme with satisfaction, at the start of Stage 16 at La Tour-du-Pin.
On the first rest day, four staff members from four different teams (AG2R La Mondiale, Cofidis, Ineos and Mitchelton) had tested positive and had to say goodbye to the test. As well as Prudhomme himself, who was isolated for seven days.
The director recovered his position at the head of the race this Tuesday, after having tested negative: “We are facing a disease that has caused 30,000 deaths in spring, the measures that had to be taken have been taken. Sometimes people complain because they cannot go to some ports, but it was the ‘sine qua non’ condition for the organization of the Tour “.
“Everyone says that the pandemic will last, that we continue to live is essential, when people respect the rules and pay attention, it is going well,” he added.
“It is the only time since 2004, when I entered the Tour de France organization, that I am looking forward to finishing. So far we are on the right track,” Prudhomme continued about the success of a race that began amid great uncertainties.
The controls have been carried out on all those who are part of the ‘race bubble’, which regroups the runners, the staff members and some officials, between 650 and 700 people.
The higher number of tests performed, 785 on the second day of rest, is explained because there were people who were not part of the bubble who were controlled.
“Even if it takes place in September, this is the Tour de France and the magic exists,” Prudhomme concluded proudly.
The start of the 16th stage is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. (11:20 GMT) at La Tour-du-Pin and will finish after 164 kilometers on the heights of Villard-de-Lans.
jm / lrb / pm