Lotto sends two staff members away, fear Tour exclusion to corona decreases

Two days before the start of the Tour de France, the Belgian cycling team Lotto Soudal has sent two staff members home. They did not pass the mandatory coronation test and as a precaution their roommates were also sent away.

“To ensure the safety of the team and the race”, the team of Caleb Ewan and Philippe Gilbert, among others, argued this rigorous action.

In the test round a positive and a suspicious case came to light. The employees could then leave immediately.

A little less than a week ago Tour organiser ASO presented the strict corona policy for the upcoming Tour de France. This policy states that a team would be taken out of the race after two contaminations of riders or staff members.

Easing rules

Lotto-Soudal does not seem to fear this scenario, however, should more employees test positive in the coming days.

David Lappartient, president of the cycling union UCI, announced Wednesday in the French newspaper L’ร‰quipe that he wants to relax the rules. This because the results are not completely reliable and otherwise teams can be wrongly taken out of the Tour.

The ASO has not yet officially come out with a possibly modified corona protocol.

The precautions around the cycling lap are very strict: in the run-up to the Tour, all riders will be tested at least twice, have to keep diaries and wear mouth masks. Until the day on which the Tour starts, 29 August, a replacement may be appointed, if necessary, until 10.00 a.m., after that no more.

Iwan Spekenbrink, manager of Team Sunweb, said last week to understand the strict corona policy during the Tour: