The overall coronavirus picture in Europe has been a bleak one in recent weeks, with a second wave of COVID cases seeing new peaks in daily cases across many nations, including Spain. COVID protocols have been quite strict at the Vuelta a Espana, but there were still fears of the infectious virus breaching the 'bubble' of the professional peloton.
However, the 684 tests carried out all returned negative results.
A large number of cases during the Giro d'Italia saw teams Mitchelton-Scott and Jumbo-Visma abandoning the race after the rest day. The Vuelta a Espana has so far escaped that fate, and organisers will be hoping that trend continues all the way to the slated finish in Madrid.
In the statement released after the tests were carried out, La Vuelta confirmed the negative tests.
"In accordance with La Vuelta 20’s health protocol, developed in the framework of the Union Cycliste Internationale’s (UCI) rules for the return of the road cycling season in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, the entire “race bubble” was tested during the 1st rest day.
After having been tested preceding the official start in Irun as well as upon their arrival on La Vuelta as a part of the “race bubble”, riders and staff involved in the race were tested a 3rd time during the 1st rest day. The objective of the screening campaign is to guarantee the health of the race for the riders and accredited personnel in the face of the novel coronavirus.
Overall, each of the 684 tests carried out returned negative results.
The organisers of La Vuelta and the UCI would like to thank all of the teams and riders for their collaboration and for the vigilance that they have shown and will continue to show up until the finish in Madrid."