Charges from Lourdes before departure

Less than two weeks before the Grand Départ in Denmark, there is concern among the formations after the outbreak of Covid cases during the Tour de Suisse.

The Covid was remembered in the memory of the world of cycling this week. The fault of the cluster observed on the Tour de Suisse, with the key to the withdrawal of several teams among the most important of the peloton (Jumbo, Bahrain-Victorious and Alpecin-Fenix), and a cascade of abandonments, including Alexandr Vlasov , then chief of the test. The situation must raise a question a few days before the start of the Tour de France, which will start from Denmark on July 1.

There are negligent teams

Several sports directors have also stepped up to regret the lightness of certain training in this area. “There are negligent teams. There are doctors who test riders with symptoms in the morning, but then put him on his bike. If the test is then positive, they make him leave the race. But in the meantime, of course, he sneezed three times in the middle of the peloton.thus regretted Patrick Lefevere, the general manager of Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl, in his weekly column at Het Nieuwsblad.

It’s Russian roulette

An opinion shared by Marc Madiot, the general manager of the Groupama-FDJ training, who had to deal with the positive case of Quentin Pacher. “We feel that it’s Russian roulette in the peloton, he launched in the columns of South West. Me, I never stopped looking at the Covid Tracker numbers and right now they are worrying. » And the former runner to be fatalistic. “We never stopped testing our team members. We have been living with the virus for a very long time. Every week, I have positive cases in my staff or among the riders. Some did not go to the Route d’Occitanie for example. On the UCI World Tour events, the protocol, even if it has been lightened, is still in place: all the riders are tested before the start. The Jumbo team, which is one of those who encountered the mask the most, was the first affected on the Tour de Suisse. We also say that there is a part of destiny in there “he added.

For the Tour, anything can happen

The Mayenne is no less worried as the Tour de France approaches. “For the Tour, anything can happen. To make the selection, I will wait, I will not venture on anything at all. I don’t forget that next week there are the French championships where, until now, there is no particular protocol and no Covid test planned before departure, “ he explained, adding: “I imagine that ASO will have to review its copy in terms of protocol. The biggest risk obviously concerns the riders and the teams. Leaving a week-long event is one thing, but having to pack up on the Tour de France is a completely different impact. »

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