Tour organisers to preside over team withdrawals as UCI 're-evaluates' COVID-19 regulations

By Sports Desk August 28, 2020

Tour de France organisers will decide if a team is withdrawn from the race after two confirmed coronavirus cases, the UCI said after changing its regulations.

The 2020 Tour begins on Saturday, yet competitors had been concerned by the threat of hasty removals in the event of positive COVID-19 tests.

The initial regulations stated an entire team and its staff would be expelled from the Tour if it had two individuals contract the virus.

But the UCI announced on Friday its rules had been "re-evaluated" for the Grand Tours, instead allowing race organisers to make the call.

Its update stated: "In the case of two or more riders from the same team testing positive for COVID-19 within a period of seven days at a Grand Tour, the UCI will give the event organiser authorisation to announce the withdrawal of the team for health reasons, on the condition, however, that the global medical assessment carried out confirm the positive cases."

The UCI has sought to ensure false positive tests do not rule riders or teams out of action as it calls for "complementary examinations" if initial results suggest a confirmed case.

"In the case of a positive test for COVID-19 during a Grand Tour, the organiser must do everything possible – but without being liable – to proceed as far as possible with a complementary test and a serological analysis before the following stage," the UCI said.

"These complementary examinations will be a very useful additional element in the global medical assessment, which will make it possible to evaluate the contagious character or not of the rider (or team member) and which will enable the regulatory measures to be applied."

If a rider or team member is confirmed positive for coronavirus or cannot carry out a second test, they "will be isolated according to the health regulations and will leave the event in question".

The UCI explained these adjustments "come from the desire to optimise the interpretation of a positive viral diagnostic test and confirm that it indeed corresponds with a recent coronavirus infection".

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    Jumbo-Visma suspended Groenewegen from competing until the UCI made a ruling over any sanctions, with the governing body announcing its decision to impose a backdated ban on Wednesday.

    "The UCI referred the case against the rider, who acknowledged that he deviated from his line and committed a violation of the UCI Regulations," read a statement.

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    "The rider also accepted to take part in a number of events to the benefit of the cycling community."

    Jakobsen spent a week in intensive care and has undergone facial surgery, with the 24-year-old on a long road to recovery.

    Groenewegen, who had already apologised for his actions, posted on Instagram following the ruling.

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    Roglic lost time on stage 17 on Saturday but not enough to take the red jersey from him, the Slovenian effectively ensuring he would retain the title.

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    Bora Hansgrohe led matters going into the final kilometre of the 139.6km route and it was they who were celebrating at the finish as Ackermann edged Sam Bennett on the line.

    Roglic also takes the green points jersey, with Guillaume Martin named King of the Mountains.

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    STAGE RESULT

    1. Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) 3:28:13
    2. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) Same time
    3. Max Kanter (Sunweb) Same time
    4. Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) Same time
    5. Jasha Sutterlin (Sunweb) Same time

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    General Classification

    1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 72:46:12
    2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +00:24
    3. Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) +01:15

    Points Classification

    1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 204
    2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 133
    3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 111

    King of the Mountains

    1. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) 99
    2. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) 34
    3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 30

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    Hugh Carthy, third in the General Classification standings, made a move with 4.5km to go, yet Roglic and Carapaz reacted and were able to follow the Brit again when he burst away for a second time.

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    1. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) 4:54:32
    2. Gino Mader (NTT) +00:28
    3. Ion Izagirre (Astana) +01:05
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    1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 64:20:31
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    3. Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) +00:47

    Points Classification

    1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 204
    2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 133
    3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 111

    King of the Mountains

    1. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) 99
    2. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) 34
    3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 30

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