The list continues to grow. Slovak sprinter Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies), affected by the Covid, was forced to retire on Sunday before the last stage of the Tour de Suisse, a time trial around Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, a-t- he announced on his Twitter account.
At the end of the seventh stage the day before in Malbun (Liechtenstein) Sagan had to submit to a routine anti-Covid test “which turned out to be positive”, he posted in a message on the social network . “I have no symptoms and I feel fine but I have to give up the race,” said the 32-year-old runner, who had already won the third stage in Granges on Tuesday.
A worrying situation as the Tour de France approaches
The 85th edition of the Tour de Suisse was marked by numerous cases of Covid which notably led to the abandonment of around thirty riders on Friday, including the yellow jersey Aleksander Vlasov. Four teams withdrew in their entirety, namely Jumbo, Emirates, Bahrain and Alpecin, as well as one or more elements of six other formations such as Education First or Israel Premier Tech.
Less than two weeks before the start of the Tour de France, the situation worries the world of cycling, especially since the Tour de Suisse is not the only race affected by this upsurge in cases of Covid-19. Several hundred kilometers to the east, the Tour of Slovenia is taking place at the same time and has also had its share of abandonments for similar reasons in recent days. If the double title holder of the Grande Boucle Tadej Pogacar was spared, his teammate at UAE Emirates Mikkel Bjerg was forced to withdraw. His roommate, Dane Vegard Stake Laengen, did the same as a precaution.
During the last two editions of the Tour de France, a very strict health bubble had preserved the holding of the event. For the upcoming edition from July 1 to 24, the organization does not yet plan to strengthen the Covid-19 protocol and intends to respect the recommendations established by the International Cycling Union (UCI).