Tour de France fears sparked by Covid outbreak at Swiss warm-up race

Otto I. Eovaldi
29 riders did not take the start of Friday’s stage six of the Tour de Suisse  (EPA)

29 riders did not just take the get started of Friday’s stage six of the Tour de Suisse (EPA)

There are fears this year’s Tour de France could be disrupted by Covid soon after an outbreak strike this week’s Tour de Suisse, 1 of the last key warm-up races.

With two weeks to go to the opening stage of the Tour in Copenhagen, 29 riders did not choose the start off of Friday’s stage 6 in Switzerland, like race chief Aleksandr Vlasov and Britain’s Olympic mountain bicycle winner Tom Pidcock, immediately after 16 riders give up on Thursday.

A few teams – UAE Crew Emirates, Alpecin-Fenix and Bahrain-Victorious – pulled out entirely pursuing good conditions, even though EF Training-EasyPost withdrew four riders which includes Rigoberto Uran and Hugh Carthy.

Vlasov and his Bora-Hansgrohe team-mate Anton Palzer pulled out as effectively as Israel Leading-Tech’s Reto Hollenstein and Sebastian Barwick, Trek-Segafredo’s Gianluca Brambilla, Movistar’s Alex Aranburu, and QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl’s Louis Vervaeke, leaving 94 starters.

Pidcock turned the 2nd member of the Ineos Grenadiers squad to withdraw after Adam Yates on Thursday. Geraint Thomas remains in the race and now sits second total driving Israel Premier-Tech’s Jakob Fuglsang subsequent Vlasov’s exit.

Next a meeting involving teams, rider representatives and governing physique the UCI, Tour de Suisse race director Olivier Senn reported the remaining 18 groups had agreed to go on but admitted there was no guarantee the race would achieve Vaduz on Sunday.

“It really is certainly not pleasant,” Senn stated. “We have incredibly sad that coronavirus is spreading so significantly inside the groups. All the groups know the principles. 4 teams made the decision to withdraw which includes the one yesterday so there is certainly 18 groups.

“All the remaining groups agreed to commence and there is no further more choice on present-day phase. We will reassess tomorrow early morning and clearly we hope we will not have quite a few far more circumstances. In the minute we maintain heading as prepared.”

UAE Workforce Emirates also reported Mikkel Bjerg experienced tested constructive at the Tour of Slovenia and experienced been withdrawn along with roommate Vegard Stake Laengen.

Even so the rest of the group, led by reigning Tour de France winner and this year’s favorite Tadej Pogacar, will keep on.

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