The Tour de France begins on August 29 and three weeks of cycling will commence with 21 epic stages. As part of the backdrop to the Tour de France 2020 is the current COVID-19 pandemic. The race will begin in Nice before snaking its way through France all the way to Paris.
Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), the group in charge of the Tour de France, has outlined its COVID-19 protocol for the upcoming event. ASO have stated that if two members of any team competing at the Tour de France test positive for coronavirus, then the entire team will be removed from the race. In spite of teams whom test positive being taken out of the Tour de France, the race will continue on.
The 107th edition of the Tour de France will be very different than previous additions of the race from how riders live to how commentators describe the action. According to Betway, famed British cycling commentator Carlton Kirby and crew will be in London to commentating on the race from Euro Sports’ studios. Restrictions on travel and individuals being present at the Tour de France will produce an experience like never before.
Four Tour de France 2020 riders have already tested positive for coronavirus since cycling’s restart. Hugo Houle of team Astana tested positive following the Tour de Pologne. Omer Goldstein of Israel’s Start-up Nation tested positive for COVID-19 after the Vuelta a Burgos. Meanwhile, Silvan Diller and Larry Warbasse, both from AG2R La Mondiale, tested positive.
In the lead up to the Tour de France’s start in Nice on August 29, UCI President David Lappartient confirmed that the race will continue even if riders test positive for the virus. Lappartient stated that “a race will not stop if there is one positive case”.
Each Tour de France team is made up of eight riders and 30 staff. All 38 members of the team will be removed if two of those members are found to have COVID-19. Teams have moved to limit the spread of the virus by putting each team in isolation. Teams will live in hotels throughout the race.
It is believed that competitors riding in a peloton will not present a risk for the spread of COVID-19. In addition, all Tour de France teams will stay in separate wings of their designated hotels. Most teams will have specialized mobile kitchens and dining areas allowing riders to remain isolated.
Both the UCI and individual teams created protocols for the restart of cycling. A nominated doctor will oversee COVID-19 cases along with a team of doctors. Riders must complete a health questionnaire each day. An app has been devised to help riders relay information to the team of doctors. The hope is the questionnaire will help COVID-19 symptoms be spotted before others come in contact with the rider.
The race’s protocol has outlined that teams will be able to replace riders who test positive for COVID-19. Teams will be able to replace riders up to 10 AM before the race’s first stage on August 29th.