Day counter to be reset for second round of Tour coronavirus tests

FILE PHOTO: Tour de France
FILE PHOTO: Cycling - Tour de France - Stage 7 - Millau to Lavaur - France - September 4, 2020. Bahrain-McLaren rider Mikel Landa of Spain before the start. Pool via REUTERS/Christophe Ena/File Photo

September 10, 2020

By Julien Pretot

CHAUVIGNY, France (Reuters) – Teams who had one staff member test positive for COVID-19 will not be ejected from the Tour de France if they have another one in the next round of tests, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

The rules state that should two members of a team test positive for coronavirus within a seven-day period, the whole outfit will be excluded from the race.

Organisers, in consultation with the French government, have decided, however, that the counters would be reset for the next round of tests on Sept. 13-14.

“We are resetting the counters for the next round of tests. However, if before those tests one of the four teams has another positive then they will be out,” one of the sources told Reuters.

The four outfits concerned are Ineos-Grenadiers, the team of defending champion Egan Bernal, Mitchelton Scott, AG2R La Mondiale and Cofidis.

Half of each team was tested last Sunday and the other half last Monday. They will be tested again next Sunday and Monday in the same way.

This meant that before the reset decision, if any of the positive tests were from last Monday then the team would have been out of the race should they have another positive test on Sunday.

Slovenian Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma) leads the Tour with a 21-second advantage over Bernal with Cofidis rider Guillaume Martin of France in third place, 28 seconds off the pace.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge)