45 motorcycle police from Vuelta a España test positive for COVID-19

None of the riders inside the Vuelta a España peloton were diagnosed with COVID-19.

Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images

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The Vuelta a España peloton escaped COVID-19, but more than 40 police officers working the race have been diagnosed with the infection.

Spanish media reported Tuesday that 45 officers with Spain’s Guardia Civil have tested positive for COVID-19, though none of them have revealed severe symptoms. The Spanish wire service EFE reported that the officers were part of the traffic control force during the Vuelta, which concluded Sunday in Madrid, and that all of them are now in isolation.

There was some concern after the patrol officers returned to their homes after the Vuelta on Sunday evening only to later discover they’ve been diagnosed, EFE reported.

The news comes after the Vuelta concluded Sunday without seeing any of the riders inside the Vuelta peloton to test positive for COVID-19 after undergoing pre-race and rest-day controls throughout the race.

Despite the sudden spike in infections among the Guardia Civil, the Vuelta received high marks from riders and teams about how the race organization handled the coronavirus mitigation efforts.

Sunday’s finale of the Vuelta marks the end to the sometimes tumultuous but largely successful 2020 racing season, where all but a handful of races were able to be contested when WorldTour racing resumed August 1.

Cycling’s key stakeholders are optimistic that its “race bubble” concept can be extended into the 2021 cycling season, and that racing can resume with Europe’s most important events on their traditional dates next season even if pandemic conditions continue into next year.

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