Tadej Pogačar returns to training after contracting covid

UAE Team Emirates say that Slovenian is still on track to make season debut at UAE Tour

Tadej Pogačar
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tadej Pogačar has returned to training after he contracted covid last week, UAE-Team Emirates have said.

The Slovenian two-time Tour de France champion tested positive last week and has already completed the mandatory isolation period, and only had mild symptoms.

He is scheduled to begin his season at the UAE Tour on Sunday 20 February, and his team say that he is still on track to do so. He is the defending champion of the race, a big target for the team, as the country sponsors it.

The news was released by UAE-Team Emirates on Tuesday morning, after he had already finished his isolation and got back on his bike. He posted an Instagram story of him training with other riders on Monday.

Dr Adrian Rotunno, the teams medical director, said that he still has to undergo some final medical testing before returning to racing. 

"Tadej tested positive for the virus and had mild symptoms," he said. "As per guidelines, and in the interest of his health, and the greater community, he underwent the mandatory isolation and recovery period, before resuming light training.

"He is still due to undergo some final medical clearance testing, but should be on track to resume his preparation for his first race of the season, the UAE Tour."

Riders who test positive for covid have to perform a series of tests on their heart and lung tests before they are allowed to race, according to UCI protocols. 

Stage races of seven days or more, of which the UAE Tour is one, also require of participants a negative PCR test dated less than two days previously regardless of whether the person is vaccinated or not.

It is the first time Pogačar has been revealed to have covid, and it is known that he has been vaccinated.

He is yet to make his season debut, and is copying the same opening schedule as last year. His plan is to race the UAE Tour before heading to Europe for Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico.

The Slovenian is to race the Tour of Flanders for the first time this year, and will also take part in Milan-San Remo for a second time. Of course, his whole season is built around his defence of the Tour de France, which begins in Copenhagen at the end of July.

In the third year of the pandemic, the virus is still affecting road cycling, with multiple teams forced to withdraw from the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana last week. 

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Hello, I'm Cycling Weekly's senior news and features writer. I love road racing first and foremost, but my interests spread beyond that. I like sticking to the tarmac on my own bike, however.


Before joining the team here I wrote for Procycling for almost two years, interviewing riders and writing about racing.


Prior to covering the sport of cycling, I wrote about ecclesiastical matters for the Church Times and politics for Business Insider. I have degrees in history and journalism.