Tadej Pogačar and Marc Hirschi return negative Covid-19 test, cleared for Liège-Bastogne-Liège

The Slovenian will face stiff competition from the likes of Primož Roglič and Julian Alaphilippe

Primož Roglič and Tadej Pogačar (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tadej Pogačar and Marc Hirschi have been giving the all-clear to race Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday after the entire UAE Team Emirates entourage returned negative Covid-19 tests.

The Tour de France champion was left frustrated after he was forced to miss Flèche Wallonne, following 'false positive' coronavirus tests.

Rider Diego Ulissi and another staff member had returned positive tests, then returning negative results in subsequent tests but the rules of Belgian authorities forbidding them from taking the start line.

"We all have [tested] negative and we don’t start Flèche Wallone. We had false-positives yesterday but were three times negative afterwards," Pogačar said on Wednesday, proceeding to go out for a monster recon of nearly the entire Liège route, a 'watch out' to his rivals should he be allowed back on the start line for the final Monument of the spring.

A nervy wait ensued but on Saturday morning UAE Team Emirates confirmed that all PCR tests had come back negative and the WorldTour outfit would be on the start line in Liège.

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"On Friday all riders & staff undertook a Covid-19 PCR test along with every other team as per the race protocol," the team said.

"Happy to report all these tests produced negative results and the team has received confirmation from the race Covid Committee that we are all clear to race tomorrow at Liège-Bastogne-Liège."

As well as Pogačar, UAE Team Emirates line-up with last year's runner-up, Marc Hirschi, who was unable to defend his Flèche title and will be seeking a first victory for his new team.

After Liège, Hirschi is expected to line-up up at two home stage races, the Tour de Romandie and Tour de Suisse, before the French Grand Tour, while Pogačar will use the Dauphiné to prepare for his defence of the yellow jersey.

Jonny Long

Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races. I'm 6'0", 26 years old, have a strong hairline and have an adequate amount of savings for someone my age. I'm very single at the minute so if you know anyone, hit me up.


Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab, reporting about students evacuating their bowels on nightclub dancefloors and consecrating their love on lecture hall floors. I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).


I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.