Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme has had to leave the event after testing positive for coronavirus.
Prudhomme is not part of the ‘race bubble,’ which consists of the 650 riders and team staff, but still opted to undergoing Covid-19 test during the Tour’s first rest day.
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He has now been forced to leave the race and quarantine for seven days after his test returned a positive result.
A statement from Tour de France organiser ASO said: “The testing campaign revealed that Christian Prudhomme has tested positive for Covid-19. The director of the Tour de France, taking his fourth test in one month, will now quarantine for 7 days.
“Although he was not part of the ‘race bubble’ and had not been in direct contact with any of the riders and their entourage, Christian Prudhomme still decided to get tested.
“The anti-Covid-19 protocol, which provides reinforced protection for the ‘race bubble’, distinct from others in the organisation, allows for the following plan to be put in place following such a situation.”
Riders were eagerly awaiting the results from the rest day testing ahead of stage 10 on Tuesday (September 8), as results were due to be returned to them before the start of racing.
The UCI and ASO eventually released a joint statement confirming that out of the 841 tests carried out in the race bubble, no riders had tested positive, while four staff members all from different teams did have coronavirus, as well as one member one race technical service provider.
All those who tested positive have now left the race.
Riders and staff were all tested in the five days proceeding the Tour and are scheduled to undergo further testing on the second race day, on September 14.
Prudhomme’s responsibilities, including dropping the flag at the start of each stage, have been taken on by his deputy François Lemarchand.