LA ROCHELLE, France (Reuters) – All team members, riders and staff have undergone a coronavirus test and further participation in the Tour de France depends on the results that will be announced hours before the start of the 10th stage on Tuesday.
The members of the ‘teams bubble’ had until 1100GMT on Monday, the Tour’s first rest day, to take a test in the mobile laboratory provided by organizers.
In an email to teams seen by Reuters, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said the team doctors had until Tuesday, 1000 CET (0800 GMT) to download the test results on a dedicated platform.
Should there be positive results, the UCI medical director will contact the team doctor to assess the ‘following steps’, the email said.
The rules set by organizers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO)and French health authorities state that should two members of a team, rider or staff, test positive for coronavirus, the whole outfit would be excluded from the race.
The UCI, who urged the teams not to communicate the results, and ASO, will issue a statement before the start of the stage in L’Ile d’Oleron.
The stage is due to start at 1130 GMT.
France is facing a resurgence of coronavirus cases with almost 25,000 people testing positive in the last three days.
Four staff members of the Lotto Soudal team left the Tour de France two days prior to the start after two of them had tested positive for COVID-19.
Slovenian Primoz Roglic is the overall leader of the race ahead of defending champion Egan Bernal of Colombia after the opening block of racing.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)