• Aramon Formigal will be the finish line for stage 6 of the Vuelta after organisers were forced into a major change of the route due to COVID-19 restrictions (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
La Vuelta a España has again returned a COVID-free batch of testing after the second rest day of the Spanish grand tour.
SBS Cycling Central

4 Nov 2020 - 12:21 AM  UPDATED 4 Nov 2020 - 12:23 AM

The testing ahead of the 13th stage of the Vuelta a España has seen 681 tests carried out, with all riders, team staff, event staff and media returning negative results.

Mass testing was carried out four times to date at the Vuelta; prior to the race by everybody accredited on the race, then immediately before the race itself and then on the first rest day, when 684 tests were carried out and produced no positive results.

The race organisers, ASO, and the world governing body for cycling, the UCI, issued a joint statement after the testing had been completed.

"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 2nd 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 (level 1 and level 2) were tested a 4th time during the 2nd rest day. The objective of the screening campaigns 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 681 tests carried out (528 to the teams and the others to the members of the organization considered level 2 of the race bubble) returned negative results."

Spain has been one of the worst-hit countries in western Europe by the pandemic, with 1.1 million registered infections to date and much of the country in varying degrees of confinement and curfew. The country is currently experiencing record highs in numbers of cases, averaging above 20,000 cases per day in recent weeks. A six-month state of emergency was declared over a week ago.