43 Tour de France Riders Test Positive for COVID-19 (UPDATED)

Okay, that is a total click-bait headline but who is going to be surprised when a number of Tour de France riders test positive for COVID-19 over the next few weeks? Days? Team personal and TDF event personnel tested positive but no riders? That seems unlikely until you consider that professional cycling has a long and illustrious history of looking the other way when they believe it is in the best interest of the sport and its sponsors. Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar just announced he is curtailing his 2020 racing season for a “needed rest.” Post-TDF race appearances are extremely lucrative to the race’s winner and doesn’t require more effort than riding around in the field. It is weird that Pogacar would give that up.

Except for the Baja 1000 and rallying, I can’t think of another sport where spectators stand on the playing field. And nobody does it better (or worse) than Tour de France fans. While watching spectators in sweat-drenched paper masks (or no masks) running along side and yelling encouragement (or threats) to riders, it doesn’t take much of an imagination to visualize respiratory droplets being sucked up by racers who are filling their lungs with the strength of a 4.5-horsepower Shop-Vac.

Although positive tests seem inevitable, I hope no rider tests positive after taking part in the Tour. If it does happen, you read it first here.

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