'The closest I'll get to prison': Simon Geschke reveals what Covid quarantine is like at Tokyo Olympics

The German tested positive for Covid-19 the day before the men's road race and has been isolating in his hotel room ever since

Simon Geschke
(Image credit: Getty)

After arriving on the Champs-Élysées after a gruelling 21 stages of his ninth Tour de France finish, Simon Geschke was soon whisked away along with a number of the peloton for a flight across the world to the Olympic Games.

26 hours later, including eight hours spent in Tokyo airport, the German could look outside his hotel window and see Mount Fuji rising up out of the ground, the setting for the men's road race later that week.

But then, disaster struck. The day before the race Geschke tested positive for Covid-19. He felt physically fine but could, of course, no longer compete, he says emotionally it was a "very black day".

The International Olympic Committee rules state that athletes who test positive must quarantine for 10 days, although can be released early if they return consecutive negative tests after the sixth day.

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So, while his German team-mates and fellow riders either fly home or prepare for Wednesday's time trial event, Geschke has been trying to keep himself entertained within the four walls of his hotel room.

To pass the time he's been letting people know what Olympic quarantine is like. Firstly, your windows are locked and you're only allowed to leave your room three times a day. Inside the room, there is a speaker on the ceiling that wakes you up at 7am so you can have your temperature taken.

"1 out of 5 stars for the speaker in my room. It has no Bluetooth so I can't play any music. It keeps reminding me of everything though. Starting at 7am.

"Fair to say that this is (hopefully) the closest I will ever get to being in prison," Geschke added. "Food is pretty basic too," as he uploaded an image of plain rice, chicken and broccoli.

Simon Geschke

(Image credit: Simon Geschke/Instagram)

The mealtime saga didn't end there, however, as Geschke had to get inventive at breakfast.

"Fun fact, the strawberry jam was originally finished," he posted on Instagram alongside images of dry, cut-up baguette. "Thanks to a staff member of Egypt who gave me some of his, I didn't have to eat dry bread alone."

On Thursday July 29 Geschke will have the chance to provide consecutive negative Covid-19 tests to get an early release from quarantine, but should he continue to test positive he may have to wait until Monday August 2.

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.


Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and 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.