Virus worries eased for Tour de France teams after positives

LE PECQ, France (AP) — The four Tour de France teams that lost staff members to positive COVID-19 tests this week won’t automatically be sent home if another staff member tests positive, the race organizer confirmed on Thursday.

Health rules for the race say teams can be sent home if they have two or more positive tests in a seven-day span.

But race organizer ASO confirmed on Thursday that the day-counter will be reset to zero when teams are tested again on the Tour’s second and last rest day next Monday.

That clarification lifts a weight off Cofidis, AG2R La Mondiale, Ineos Grenadiers, and Mitchelton Scott, the teams that each saw a staff member test positive on the first rest day.

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Because they will all essentially be starting afresh in the next round of testing, a single positive test on Monday will not automatically trigger their exclusion, ASO said.

But any team that registers two or more positives could still be sent home. The battery of tests will be the last before the Tour finishes on Sept. 20 in Paris.

No rider was positive in the first round of rest-day tests.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme did test positive and was forced to quit the race for what he hopes will be just one week of self-isolation.

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