COVID-19 cases won’t be automatically removed from Vuelta a España

Spanish grand tour adopting same COVID-19 rules applied during the Tour de France this summer.

Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images

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A positive COVID-19 diagnosis won’t mean a ticket home for racers in the 2022 Vuelta a España.

The UCI confirmed that the coronavirus protocols deployed this summer at the Tour de France will also be applied to the season’s third grand tour.

That means even if a rider is positive for a low-viral case of COVID-19, it will be up to doctors from teams and race staff to make the final decision on if a rider can continue racing or not.

Throughout the 2022 Tour, some 16 riders went home after being diagnosed with COVID-19, including Chris Froome (Israel Premier Tech), George Bennett (UAE Team Emirates), and Enric Mas (Movistar).

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In some cases, including UAE Team Emirates’ Rafal Majka, the rider was allowed to remain in the race if the medical team decided that the viral load was low enough that the risk of infection was low.

Other rules will remain in place, including health screenings before and during the Vuelta, using swab tests to determine if someone might be positive. Follow-up PCR tests will be carried out on riders or staffers who might be infected.

Other race personnel and UCI race jury members will also face health controls. Media covering the Vuelta will also face COVID controls before the race in order to be credentialed, officials confirmed.

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