• Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme (R) and French Prime Minister Jean Castex applaud riders during Stage 8 of the 2020 Tour de France (Getty)Source: Getty
All riders at the Tour de France are negative for the coronavirus, but race director Christian Prudhomme is not, Reuters has confirmed this evening (AEST) after the results of rest day testing were announced.
SBS Cycling Central

Reuters, ASO
8 Sep 2020 - 8:59 PM  UPDATED 8 Sep 2020 - 10:30 PM

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Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme has tested positive for the coronavirus. 

But all 22 teams will start the 10th stage of the Tour de France after their riders tested negative for COVID-19, organisers said in a statement on Tuesday (AEST), adding that four members of staff had returned positive tests.

Race orgainsers ASO and the UCI jointly announced the entire “race bubble” was tested on the 7th and 8th September. 

"No rider has tested positive for COVID-19 or is considered a contact case requiring quarantine," the ASO and UCI announcement said. 

"One staff member each from Team Cofidis, AG2R La Mondiale, Ineos Grenadiers and Mitchelton-Scott have tested positive and left the race bubble.

"A technical service provider has also tested positive and has left the race.

"This is the third testing campaign since the beginning of the Tour. A fourth is scheduled, with the same conditions, for the next rest day, in Isère on the 14th September. A total of 841 tests were performed."

French health authorities and organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) had said that should two members of a team, riders or staff, test positive for the novel coronavirus, the whole outfit would be excluded from the race.

But the organisers told Reuters that the team members testing positive were from different outfits so all teams start stage 10 of the race.

Much of Prudhomme's role is spent in the company of others, including dignatries but he has personally observed strict protocols. It is also said he was asymptomatic. 

Due to nature of this part of his role, Prudhomme and the ASO has ensured he has not entered the rider/team 'race bubble.'

"Although he was not part of the “race bubble” and had not been in direct contact with any of the riders," a separate ASO statement said, "and their entourage, Christian Prudhomme still decided to get tested.

"The anti-COVID-19 protocol, which provides reinforced protection for the “race bubble”, distinct from others in the organisation, allows for the following plan to be put in place following such a situation: in the absence of Christian Prudhomme from the 10th stage from Île d’Oléron to Île de Ré up until the 16th stage from La Tour du Pin to Villard de Lans, François Lemarchand, who was in the lead car on Paris-Nice, will take Christian Prudhomme’s place in the lead car.

"Jean-Michel Monin meanwhile, will replace François Lemarchand in the n°3 car."

The French prime minister rode in the race director's car with Prudhomme on Saturday during Stage 8. Both wore face masks.