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. 

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Adam Becket
Senior news and features writer

Adam is Cycling Weekly’s senior news and feature writer – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing, speaking to people as varied as Demi Vollering to Philippe Gilbert. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.