Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: Thomas SAMSON / AFP 15:55 pm, June 04, 2023An anti-Covid protocol will be put back in place during the France tour, which will begin on July 1st. The aim is to protect the riders, to avoid the misadventure of the Giro d'Italia, marked by the abandonment of the favorite Remco Evenepoel even before the halfway point of the race following a positive test for the coronavirus.
An anti-Covid protocol will be put in place during the Tour de France (from 1 to 23 July) which includes the return of masks and social distancing, we learned Sunday from several sources. The organizers of Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) have not confirmed the measures that will be applied during the Grande Boucle. But a meeting with the sporting directors, Saturday on the eve of the Critérium du Dauphiné, made it possible to define the contours, we learned from several team members.
Limit player interactions
The protocol includes limited access to the finish line for members of each team and the mandatory wearing of masks in the paddocks for journalists and guests in particular. For runners, it will be a question of limiting as much as possible interactions outside the "bubble" put back into force around the race, in particular by avoiding eating outside but also too close to the spectators (selfies and autographs will be prohibited).
Even if for many Covid-19 already seems to be a distant memory, the organizers do not want to experience the same misadventure as the Giro d'Italia, last month, notably marked by the abandonment of the leader and great favorite Remco Evenepoel even before the halfway point of the race following a positive test for the coronavirus.
"I don't mind as long as we preserve our health"
In the Dauphiné, almost all of the riders were already wearing masks on Sunday before the start of the first stage and had nothing to complain about. "I don't mind as long as we preserve our health. I prefer to put on masks and for everyone to be more serene rather than have an epidemic and many riders are 'out' because of Covid," David Gaudu, the leader of the Groupama-FDJ team, told AFP.
The day before, Julian Alaphilippe had already said that he had been "one of the only ones to wear a mask" on the plane to come to the Dauphiné. "Maybe it's too much, but I really want to do the Tour," he said. Cycling is perhaps the sport we control the most. That's why there were a lot of positive cases in the Giro as well. It spoils the party a bit. But you have to get used to it. I hope it will be over one day."