COVID-19 ends Tour de France hopes for Bouchard and Laengen

COVID-19 ends Tour de France hopes for Bouchard and Laengen Image Sergio Rojo/

The first riders to be affected by Covid-19 have had their Tour de France hopes ended, with Geoffrey Bouchard and Vegard Stake Laengen having to withdraw on Saturday, July 9.

Norwegian Laengen, who withdrew shortly Bouchard, is a UAE Team Emirates teammate of overall leader Tadej Pogacar.

According to team doctor Adriano Rotunno: “Vegard tested negative yesterday morning during the routine internal team testing protocol. But he reported sore throat symptoms late last night.”

2019 Vuelta a Espana and 2021 Giro d’Italia mountain champion, Frenchman Bouchard of the AG2R-Citroen team was withdrawn after a second positive test. A statement issued by the team said: “The COVID-19 antigen test was positive, and the diagnosis was confirmed on a PCR test this morning. As per protocol, for his, the team, and the peloton’s safety he will be withdrawn from the race.”

He said: “During the (seventh) stage (on Friday) I did not feel well.

“It’s a huge disappointment because we were just getting to my favourite terrain, the mountains.”

Both teams have confirmed no other members of the respective teams have tested positive this morning, however with the two positives that could change through the day.

The news that COVID-19 has ended the Tour de France hopes for Bouchard and Laengen, comes the day after Italy announced that it would be introducing new Covid-19 measures after the summer. Although it is the only country to have formally stated that it will do so others are watching closely as numbers begin to rise across Europe and elsewhere.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at