The Tour de France’s strict Covid protocols seem to be working – but there can be no complacency

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Tour de France riders cycle through vineyards - The strict Covid protocols in place at the Tour de France seem to be working - but there can be no complacency - SHUTTERSTOCKTour de France riders cycle through vineyards - The strict Covid protocols in place at the Tour de France seem to be working - but there can be no complacency - SHUTTERSTOCK
Tour de France riders cycle through vineyards – The strict Covid protocols in place at the Tour de France seem to be working – but there can be no complacency – SHUTTERSTOCK
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Slovenians Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogacar begin the final week of the Tour de France in such a commanding position that it is going to take something extraordinary to unseat them. There is always the threat of Covid-19.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”17″>Slovenians Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogacar begin the final week of the Tour de France in such a commanding position that it is going to take something extraordinary to unseat them. There is always the threat of Covid-19. 

Beginning on Sunday and continuing through Monday’s second rest day in Grenoble, all 22 teams will undergo the latest round of PCR tests. 

Any team found to have two positives will be sent home, although riders will be allowed a second test and a blood test to rule out a false positive.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The chances of a riveting GC battle being compromised by the virus appear slim. The strict Covid protocols in place at this race appear to be working.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”20″>The chances of a riveting GC battle being compromised by the virus appear slim. The strict Covid protocols in place at this race appear to be working. 

Every rider came through last week, even if the Tour’s race director Christian Prudhomme, and four staff members, one each from Ineos Grenadiers, Mitchelton-Scott, Cofidis and AG2R-La Mondiale, did not. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Even then, it was not quite as seemed. Telegraph Sport broke the news last week that the Ineos staff member who tested positive had since undergone three further tests, including a blood test, all of which had come back negative. It is understood teams including Ineos are conducting their own PCR tests regularly to check for any positives.” data-reactid=”26″>Even then, it was not quite as seemed. Telegraph Sport broke the news last week that the Ineos staff member who tested positive had since undergone three further tests, including a blood test, all of which had come back negative. It is understood teams including Ineos are conducting their own PCR tests regularly to check for any positives.

But there can be no complacency. This is still a country where the R-rate is rocketing, particularly in some of the regions which the Tour has just visited or is about to visit. The Ain department, which the Tour entered on Sunday, is a ‘red zone’, as is the Isere where Grenoble is situated. The Tour will hold its collective breath once again ahead of the results, which will be announced publicly on Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, in Italy, Marianne Vos [CCC Liv] won stage three of the Giro Rosa on Sunday, the only grand tour on the women’s calendar, as defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten [Mitchelton-Scott] retained the leader’s jersey.