The Tour de France has its next corona case in the field of riders. Frenchman Guillaume Martin is the third professional to have tested positive for Corona. The teammate of Simon Geschke and Max Walscheid has to finish the race, as the Cofidis team and the world association UCI confirmed.
Martin was 14th overall in a promising position. On Saturday morning, Norwegian Vegard Stake Laengen, UAE teammate of Tadej Pogacar, and Frenchman Geoffrey Bouchard from Team AG2R had already tested positive. Before the start of the tour, six professionals had to withdraw due to Corona.
After Laengen’s infection, Pogacar, who is the leader in the yellow jersey, is particularly worried about contagion with the virus. The Slovenian, who won the Tour in 2020 and 2021, sees the proximity to the fans during a stage as a source of danger. “Every day people on the climbs yell at you, which I like. But it increases the likelihood of contracting viruses,” said Pogacar.
Pogacar hopes the virus isn’t in the team bubble and Laengen actually contracted it from a fan. “I hope that’s it and that we’re safe until the end.”
The leader of the tour does not see Corona as an invisible rival. “Covid is not a rival. It’s just a virus that can affect things and ruin a tour,” Pogacar said. Rivals are drivers from teams like Jumbo and Ineos. The 23-year-old was optimistic that his UAE team would still be strong enough with seven riders.
After six professionals had to withdraw before the start of the tour due to positive tests, things were quiet in the world’s largest bike race for a long time. Until Laengen and Bouchard tested positive on Saturday morning. Many teams test voluntarily in order to detect diseases in good time. The next mandatory tests are not due until the rest day on Monday.