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Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) has been forced to abandon the Tour de France after returning a positive test for COVID-19. The Frenchman had been sitting 14th overall after eight stages of racing, 3:02 down on overall leader and race favorite Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates).
Martin becomes the third rider to leave the race following a positive COVID-19 test result after Geoffrey Bouchard and Vegard Stake Laengen both left the race ahead of stage 8.
“It’s such a shame because I only felt a slight sore throat and I was on good form yesterday,” Martin said following the news.
“Following a positive PCR test for Covid, in accordance with the regulations and in agreement with the UCI and ASO doctors, @GuilmMartin will not start the 9th stage,” Cofidis said on Twitter.
The UCI released a follow up statement in relation to Martin’s departure.
“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that Guillaume Martin (FRA) from the Cofidis team will not be starting the 9th stage of the Tour de France 2022, due to the application of the Covid-19 health protocol put in place by the UCI,” the sport’s governing body stated.
“The decision was taken in a collegial manner by the concerned team doctor, the Covid-19 doctor for the event and the UCI Medical Director, on the basis of the available clinical elements. The UCI and its partners remind all participants in road races on the UCI International Calendar 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.”
All of the remaining riders in the race are set to be tested on Sunday evening ahead of the second rest day.
Meanwhile, Gianni Moscon has also left the race suffering from symptoms related to long COVID. The Italian rider failed to finish stage 8 of the race. Moscon, 28, has been in poor form all season, and was a surprise inclusion for his Astana Qazaqstan team.
Moscon’s 2022 campaign began badly when he lost several weeks of training after testing positive for COVID-19. He then came down with bronchitis.
“Unfortunately, Gianni Moscon had to quit the race today. He is still feels the consequences of so-called “long COVID-19” (post COVID fatigue),” the team said.