Dave Brailsford expects cases after rest day coronavirus tests, but confident Ineos will be all clear 

The Ineos Grenadiers team boss has shared his thoughts on the tests 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sir Dave Brailsford says he expects some coronavirus cases after the Tour de France rest day tests, but is confident they won’t be within his team.

During the Tour’s first rest day on Monday (September 7) in La Rochelle, all riders and team staff underwent testing as part of the strict measures in place to prevent an outbreak of Covid-19 on the race. 

The results are expected in the morning before stage 10 on Tuesday, with teams likely to be removed from the race if they return two positive tests.  

Brailsford told The Guardian (opens in new tab): “It’s likely there will be issues but I wouldn’t expect our team to have any.” 

He added that Ineos Grenadiers had taken extra measures to protect their riders and staff, particularly at meal teams when there is the highest risk of infection as the team sit down for more than 15 minutes without masks to eat. 

The team have taken two chefs to the race, one cooking for the riders and one cooking for the staff from their kitchen truck, with staff eating outside the hotel. 

On Saturday’s stage eight in the Pyrenees, some roadside fans would be seen not wearing their protective masks on the slopes of the Peyresourde and getting too close to riders. 

To access the climbs, fans needed a bike and a mask, making it even more perplexing that spectators were wearing their masks under their chin as the peloton passed.

Israel Start-Up Nation’s Dan Martin says that while the risk of catching coronavirus from a roadside fan isn’t massive, everyone who comes to watch the Tour has their part to play to make sure the race gets to Paris, not to mention the risk that spectators could pose to each other as coronavirus cases continue to tick back up in France. 

Martin was also concerned about potential false positives from Monday’s testing.

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He said: “If you’ve got it, you’ve got it.”

“It’s not your fault and I think the biggest fear of everybody is the false positives. Obviously, if you’ve got it it’s for the greater good that you have to go home. You have to 100 per cent understand that. But if you don’t have it and you just had a false positive and then you go home that’s not fair. We’ve just got to hope we still have 22 teams with us on Tuesday.” 

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former 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, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex 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 the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.