Chris Froome (Israel-Premier Tech), the four-time winner of the Tour de France has been forced to abandon the 2022 edition before stage 18 after testing positive for Coronavirus.
Despite the fact that Froome was seen at the sign-on for the stage to Hautacam, he then announced via social media that he had tested positive and would be unable to continue.
Posting on his official Twitter channel, Froome said in a video:
“Hey everybody, unfortunately I’ve got some pretty disappointing news to share with you this morning. A test has revealed that I’ve contracted Covid so I’m not going to be taking the start today.
“I’m really disappointed not to be able to roll into Paris and finish off this Tour de France. It’s been an extremely special race for us as a team and then for me personally as well.
“I’ve really been finding my legs again and I just want to thank everyone for all the support through this process and I’m going to head home now and switch off for a few days. I’ll then refocus on being ready for the Vuelta a Espana later this season.”
Froome’s team, Israel-Premier Tech then posted a short message on social media announcing his withdrawal.
It read: “Unfortunately, Chris Froome won’t take the start of stage 18 as a test taken shortly before the start has revealed that Chris has contracted Covid. The remaining IPT riders all tested negative and are ready to race.”
Last week, Froome produced a remarkable performance to finish third to Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) on the stage to Alpe d’Huez.
Multiple other riders have been forced to abandon the Tour de France due to Coronavirus including key domestique for Tadej Pogačar, George Bennett (UAE Team Emirates).
Several other teams have announced positive tests in recent days for their riders including Lotto Soudal who lost Tim Wellens to the virus yesterday.
Two riders for AG2R Citreon were pulled from racing when their results were sent for further Covid testing after Monday’s rest day.
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