Remaining 156 Tour de France riders pass virus tests

LA TOUR-DU-PIN, FRANCE (AP) — The remaining 156 Tour de France riders were authorised to keep racing yesterday after the latest coronavirus tests.

All 785 riders and staff members of the 22 teams tests returned negative, Tour organisers and cycling governing body the UCI announced before Stage 16 in the Alps.

No rider has tested positive since the race started on August 29 in Nice. The latest screening around the race’s second rest day was the fourth since the beginning of the Tour, and the last one before the peloton reaches the Champs Elysees.

At risk of being cancelled because of the pandemic, the Tour was delayed from its traditional July date to the end of the summer and is being run amid strict health protocols.

Anyone who tests positive has to leave the race — which affected race director Christian Prudhomme last week — and any team with two or more positive tests within seven days also has to abandon.

Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar during the Tour de France cycling race. PHOTO: AP