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Tour de France

Tour de France: Magnus Cort, Simon Clarke out with COVID-19

Cort wakes up with fever and headache while Clarke returns positive in routine test.

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As the Tour de France peloton rumbles towards the third and final rest day, the specter of COVID-19 has not receded.

Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) and Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) have both been forced to leave the race with the virus ahead of stage 15.

Cort tested positive after waking with a “headache and fever,” while Clarke went positive in a routine test by the team. At this time, none of their teammates have tested positive for the virus and they will continue to race.

“Magnus Cort woke up this morning with a headache and fever and has since tested positive for COVID-19. He will not start stage 15 of the Tour de France. His medical evaluation is ongoing,” EF Education wrote on its social media Sunday.

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Cort has been one of the riders of this year’s Tour de France after making it into four consecutive breakaways in the opening week of the race and spending seven days in the polka-dot jersey of the mountains classification leader.

After losing his mountains jersey at the end of the first week, Cort bounced back to take the win on stage 10 from yet another breakaway.

Clarke also leaves the race with a stage win in his pocket after claiming a dramatic victory over the cobbles on stage 5. The Australian was one of four riders left from the day’s breakaway and he timed his sprint for the line to perfection to claim his first-ever Tour de France stage victory.

“After an internal routine test carried out by the team, unfortunately, Simon Clarke has returned a positive Covid test. Therefore, Simon won’t take the start of stage 15,” Israel-Premier Tech said. “All other riders returned negative tests and are ready to race today.”