Tour de France 2020

Teams breathe collective sigh of relief as Tour de France COVID testing rules clarified

Ineos Grenadiers, AG2R-La Mondiale, Cofidis, and Mitchelton-Scott will not be in jeopardy of being excluded because of previous positive tests.

The Tour de France will set the COVID-19 counter back to zero when it conducts the second round of tests, a government source said Thursday.

Under the rules, a team could be ejected the Tour if it returns two positives within a seven-day period.

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While Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme tested positive, no riders did in the first wave of tests, conducted around last Monday’s rest day.

Four teams have already lost one member of their entourage: Ineos Grenadiers, AG2R-La Mondiale, Cofidis, and Mitchelton-Scott.

Since anyone who tests positive had to leave the Tour, the positives from the two tests will not be added together, a French government source said.

The second and final round of testing will take place on Sunday, when the peloton climbs the Grand Colombier, and Monday, the second rest day when the teams will be based around Sassenage outside Grenoble.

The entire race “bubble” of nearly 700 people was tested before the grand depart in Nice.

If Prudhomme tests negative he will be able to return to the Tour next Tuesday.

Early in stage 11, Bora-Hansgrohe’s Gregor Muhlberger abandoned the Tour, with the team citing illness as the reason for the low-key departure.

AFP contributed to this report.