return of an anti-Covid protocol to the Tour de France

By Le Figaro with AFP


Covid tests back Nico Vereecken

According to various sources, the organizers of the Grande Boucle are considering putting in place certain measures to avoid experiencing the misadventures of the last Giro.

An anti-Covid protocol will be put in place during the Tour de France (from July 1 to 23) which notably provides for the return of the mask and social distancing, we learned on Sunday from several sources. The organizers of Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) have not confirmed the measures that will be applied during the Grande Boucle. But a meeting with the sporting directors, Saturday on the eve of the Critérium du Dauphiné, made it possible to define the outlines, we learned from several team members.

The protocol provides in particular for limited access to the finish line for the members of each team and the wearing of a mandatory mask in the paddocks for journalists and guests in particular. For the runners, it will be a question of limiting as much as possible the interactions outside the “bubble» reinstated around the race, in particular avoiding eating outside but also being too close to spectators (selfies and autographs will be prohibited). Even if for many the Covid-19 already seems to be only a distant memory, the organizers do not want to live the same misadventure as the Tour of Italy, last month, marked in particular by the abandonment of the leader and great favorite Remco Evenepoel even before halfway following a positive coronavirus test.

In Dauphiné, the riders were already wearing almost all the mask on Sunday before the start of the first stage and generally had nothing to complain about. “It doesn’t bother me as long as we preserve our health. I’d rather put on masks and everyone be calmer than have an epidemic and a lot of runners be out because of the Covid“, declared David Gaudu, the leader of the Groupama-FDJ team, to AFP. The day before, Julian Alaphilippe had already said that he had been “one of the only ones to wear a maskon the plane to come to the Dauphiné. “It may be too much, but I really want to do the Tour, he said. Cycling is perhaps the sport that we control the most. That’s why there were a lot of positive cases on the Giro too. It spoils the party a bit. But you have to get used to it. I hope it will be over one day.»

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