By Tara Rippin • 08 September 2020 • 16:21
The director of the Tour de France and four staff members from different teams have tested positive for Covid-19.
ALL cyclists taking part in the prestigious race have been cleared of having the virus.
In total, 841 tests were carried out this week, with director Christian Prudhomme one of five whose results came back positive.
Although he has not been in direct contact with any of the riders, this was reportedly his fourth test in a month, and he will be in quarantine for seven days.
The position, which Prudhomme has held since 2007, will be temporarily held by former cyclist François Lemarchand, who works in the organisation, until the next rest day scheduled for next Monday in Isère, in the east of the country.
The other four were staff members from each of the teams Cofidis, Ag2r La Mondiale, Ineos Grenadiers and Mitchelton-Scott.
The results from the obligatory tests taken on the first rest day on Monday, September 7, were released before the start of the flat 10th stage which runs along the Atlantic coast.
Race organiser ASO, in conjunction with the French government, has enforced strict protocols for the delayed 107th edition.
Any team that returns two or more positive tests will be ejected from the event. The entire race will be tested again on the second rest day.
The Tour de France traditionally starts in July, but due to the coronavirus health crisis, the race was postponed to August 29.
It finishes in Paris on September 20.
There was high tension days prior to the start of the race, which sees top cyclists from all over the world compete in 21 day-long segments, over a 23-day period, covering a mammoth 3,470 km.
The area which hosts the start of the race, Alpes-Maritimes, was placed under a red alert due to the coronavirus pandemic, and there were fears the Tour de France would have to be postponed again, or even cancelled completely.
French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, tried to alleviate concerns stating: “We have taken numerous precautions and health protocols and I’d remind you that this is an open-air event.
“The places where the virus spreads and there is transmission have no organisation. The Tour has an organiser.”
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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