On Friday, a COVID-19 outbreak disrupted the Tour de Suisse, causing the race’s leader, at least two teams, and a number of further riders to withdraw.
One day after winning the fifth stage, overall leader Aleksandr Vlasov tested positive for COVID-19. Teammate Anton Palzer of Bora-hansgrohe also tested positive on Friday morning. Given the nature of the deadly virus, it continued to spread among other athletes. When humans breathe in air contaminated by droplets and other small airborne particles carrying the virus, COVID-19 is spread. These can be breathed over longer distances, especially indoors, but the risk is greatest when people are close together. Transmission may also happen if contaminated fluids spill or spray into the eyes, nose, or mouth, or, less frequently, via contaminated surfaces. These are some potential causes of their infection, even though each player’s precise whereabouts were not tracked or recorded.
One day after the Jumbo-Visma team pulled out of the eight-day race, which is scheduled to end on Sunday, the Alpecin-Fenix and Bahrain Victorious teams did the same.
The team management and medical staff at the Tour de Suisse “consider quitting the race to be the most logical course of action in the benefit of the health of all riders and crew,” according to a statement from Alpecin-Fenix. For people with a COVID-19 diagnosis and those who have the virus, self-isolation at home has been advised. Health organizations have published comprehensive guidelines for appropriate self-isolation. In order to further improve their health status, it is also advised that players take plenty of rest rather than continuing to participate.
Rigoberto Uran was one of the four positive tests found within the Education First team during testing conducted on Friday morning.
The Education First team said that with the approval of their medical staff, they have chosen to give the two remaining riders, Neilson Powless and Jonas Rutsch, the option of starting.
Joel Suter, Marc Hirschi’s roommate from UAE Team Emirates, was withdrawn for medical safety reasons, according to what the team announced. Marc Hirschi also tested positive and is no longer eligible to compete.
Adrian Rotunno, the medical director for the UAE squad, stated that unfortunately, like many other teams, they have also seen an increase in COVID-19 cases among their players.
One of the final competitions before the Tour de France, which begins in two weeks, is the Tour de Suisse.