ILE D’OLERON: All 22 teams will start the 10th stage of the Tour de France after their riders tested negative for COVID-19, organisers told Reuters on Tuesday, adding that four members of staff had returned positive tests.
French health authorities and organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) had said that should two members of a team, riders or staff, test positive for the novel coronavirus, the whole outfit would be excluded from the race.
But the organisers told Reuters that those testing positive were from different teams, meaning all could line up for the stage’s 1130 GMT start.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) and the organisers said in a joint statement here that one staff member each from French outfits Cofidis and AG2R-La Mondiale, Britain’s Team Ineos and Australia’s Mitchelton-Scott had contracted the virus.
Another positive positive test within seven days would rule the teams out of the race.
A fourth round of testing for all teams is scheduled to take place on the next rest day in Isere on Sept. 14.
The organisers also said race director Christian Prudhomme had tested positive. French Prime Minister Jean Castex was in the Tour director’s car for part of Saturday’s stage.
All team members, riders and staff had until 1100 GMT on Monday, the Tour’s first rest day, to take a test in the mobile laboratory provided by organisers.
Four staff members of the Lotto Soudal team left the Tour two days before the start after two of them returned positive tests for COVID-19.