Astana rider diagnosed with coronavirus before Il Lombardia 

The Canadian is the latest rider forced to miss racing due to the virus 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Astana’s Hugo Houle had to sit out of Il Lombardia after being diagnosed with coronavirus. 

Houle was schedule to race the Italian Monument last weekend but was forced to miss the race after testing positive for Covid-19 in the UCI’s mandatory tests in the week before the race.

The Canadian said he has no symptoms, but will quarantine and will not race until he tests negative. 

In an interview with Quebec newspaper La Presse last week, he said: “We will see how it evolves, but until now, I feel completely normal and everything is fine on my side. If I'm not a professional cyclist today, I have no idea I have Covid-19 and I just go on with my life. 

“At the time, I was surprised to receive a result which turned out to be positive. I asked the doctor twice if he was sure.” 

Houle is the latest rider to have his season by coronavirus.

Last month, Israel Start-Up Nation rider Omer Goldstein contracted coronavirus and his diagnosis meant his team-mate Itamar Einhorn also had to be pulled from the Vuelta a Burgos as the pair had been in contact.

Then as a result, Britain’s Alex Dowsett also had to miss the racing in Burgos because of his contact with his team-mate Einhorn.

Later in the race, three UAE Team Emirates riders were sent home from the race after they had been in contact with an unnamed person diagnosed with coronavirus. 

But both Israel Start-Up Nation riders and all UAE Team Emirates rider withdrawn from the race tested negative for the illness.

When WorldTour racing returned with Strade Bianche on August 1, AG2R La Mondiale rider Silvan Dillier was pulled from the team ahead of the race because of a positive coronavirus test. 

>>> Tour de France organiser brings ‘podium girls’ tradition to an end 

But the Swiss pro didn’t believe his diagnosis and criticised the UCI system in place for Covid-19. 

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Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. 

Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.