Daily coronavirus tests in the peloton not feasible, say team doctors

Daily coronavirus tests in the peloton not feasible, say team doctors

WorldTour racing is just around the corner, but there are still ongoing discussions around how to keep riders safe.

While some have suggested daily coronavirus tests in the peloton could be the answer, this has been disputed by team doctors.

Professor Bert Blocken, an aerodynamics expert at Eindhoven University of Technology, said regular testing would be a small effort for teams and organisers to keep races coronavirus free, compared with holding no races at all to prevent the spread.

But doctors from Lotto-Soudal and Circus-Wanty Gobert have disputed the practicability of daily tests, reports Het Laatste  Nieuwss

Joost De Maeseneer, doctor at ProTeam Circus-Wanty said: “For those tests you need mobile labs, with riders passing through every day. In a big race that’s quite a hassle, dragging it between hotels, starts and finishes.

“At the moment there is no country, no company and certainly no cycling team available to do this flawlessly.”

There is also the financial cost of extensive testing, with a Covid-19 examination costing €59 (£52) according to reports.

WorldTour racing is scheduled to return on August 1 with the delayed Strade Bianche, after the UCI suspended all racing in March due to the global spread of coronavirus.

But despite the new racing schedule, it is not clear what restrictions the UCI and national governments will enforce to keep the events safe.

There has been talk of limiting the number of fans at the side of the road in the Tour de France, while in the Giro d’Italia the Italian government wants riders and team staff to quarantine for two weeks if there is a positive test.

The Tour de France has been delayed until August 29, but will follow the same 21-stage route starting in Nice.

Meanwhile the Giro has also been postponed from it’s usual May slot and is schedule to run from October 3.

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The Italian Grand Tour was scheduled to depart from Hungary before heading south to its home nation, but the race will now start from Italy instead, with the full route yet to be confirmed.