Team doctor Adriano Rotunno explains: “Weigard tested negative yesterday morning during the team’s internal testing protocol. But he reported a sore throat late last night.”
Alarm bells on the team went off and Stake Laengen was forced to undergo an antigen test. “The COVID-19 antigen test was positive and the diagnosis was confirmed in a PCR test this morning,” the team doctor said.
A signal to immediately isolate the Norwegian from his teammates and bring him home. “As per protocol, he will have to leave the race for his safety, the team and the peloton.”
Stake Laengen was still part of Friday’s breakaway stage at La Super Planche des Belles Filles, but withdrew at the team’s request. Together with his colleague Mikkel Berg, he kept the progress of the fugitives within limits.
Successfully, as leader Tadej Pogacar won the stage after a hard race against Jonas Vingegaard in the final meters of the final climb.
Bouchard was unwell on stage 7 to La Super Planche des Belles Filles and underwent an antigen test upon his return to the hotel. If positive, team manager Vincent Lavino said he was immediately isolated from the rest of the group.
“It’s a huge disappointment because we just got to my favorite mountains,” Bouchard said.
“It’s my first Tour de France and it’s a pity that it ends like this. I wish my teammates good luck and strength for the rest of the Tour.”
Bouchard had two Belgian teammates on the tour with the French WorldTour team with Oliver Nissen and Stan Deolphe.
Bouchard and Stake Laengen are the first riders to leave the Tour after testing positive for coronavirus. Before La Grande Boucle started, there were already positive tests with, among others, Tim Declercq (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Matthew Trentin (UAE Team) and Brian Cockard (Cofidis).
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