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Tour de France

Tour de France: Two riders in isolation following latest round of COVID-19 tests

Neither rider is in the top-20 and both will face further testing prior to Tuesday's stage 16.

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Two riders are in isolation Monday pending further examination at the Tour de France following the latest round of COVID-19 health controls across the peloton.

The UCI confirmed that neither rider is among the top-20 overall following the testing of all of the riders remaining in the Tour de France on Sunday evening.

The governing body did not identify the two riders, but noted that they are not among the highest in the general classification. They will wait until Tuesday morning before learning if they can continue racing.

The UCI released the news Monday morning on the race’s third rest day, and said that the testing was carried out in accordance with its “rules for the organization of road cycling competitions in the context of the coronavirus pandemic,” which was recently updated for the grand tours.

“All tests were negative, with the exception of two riders for whom complementary biological examination is required. The two concerned riders do not rank within top 20 of the event’s general classification,” a press note read.

“While these riders are completely asymptomatic, security measures (isolation of the two riders) have been implemented to protect the other participants.

“A final decision on their participation in the remainder of the event will be taken by tomorrow morning in a collegial manner by the concerned parties (COVID-19 event and team doctors, and the UCI Medical Director).”

Riders undergo antigen testing and if a positive result is found, they are then subjected to a PCR test, which is more precise. These can determine the specific levels of virus in the system.

Tadej Pogačar’s teammate Rafal Majka tested positive during the race but was allowed to continue because the levels of COVID-19 detected was considered a low viral load and therefore of little risk to himself or others.

Separately, Het Laatste Nieuws has reported that each of the riders from Pogačar’s UAE Team Emirates, race leader Jonas Vingegaard’s Jumbo-Visma and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl have tested negative, while Het Nieuwsblad has said that all of the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux team are COVID-19 free.