Vuelta peloton gets Covid all-clear

Madrid (AFP) –


The Vuelta a Espana peloton got the Covid-19 all-clear with no positive cases detected in the latest round of testing from the Grand Tour's "bubble", organisers announced Tuesday.

The fourth round of controls for coronavirus was conducted on Monday.

"In total, all the 681 tests conducted on the second rest day were negative for Covid-19," a Vuelta statement reported.

Riders, team officials and organisers were subjected to an initial round of tests on their arrival at the "race bubble" in Irun, in the Basque country, two days before the rescheuled Tour of Spain started.

Further tests were carried out just before the October 20 start with a third batch conducted on the first rest day on October 26.

Two Bahrain-McLaren team officials and two from Sunweb were found to be positive on the eve of the race getting under way, but no rider has been detected with the virus that is currently sweeping Europe in a second wave of the pandemic and which caused the scheduled opening three days in the Nertherlands to be cancelled.

The pandemic also forced organisers to reroute the sixth stage after border restrictions ruled out the planned ascent of the Col du Tourmalet in France.

Tuesday's 13th stage is the only time trial of this year's event, a 33.7km ride between Muros and the third-category summit of Mirador de Ezaro.

Richard Carapaz of Team Ineos holds the overall leader's red jersey as the race heads to its conclusion in Madrid on Sunday.