UAE Team Emirates manager Matxin Fernandez has announced that he’s the next to have to leave the Tour de France after testing positive for COVID-19.
“Good morning, now I am the one who has to say goodbye to the main objective of the year,” he wrote on Twitter. “Last night I tested positive for COVID-19 in the internal control carried out by the team.”
The team of two-time Tour champion Tadej Pogačar has had some of the worst luck as far as COVID-19 is related this month. First Matteo Trentin was unable to so much as start, which meant Marc Hirschi was drafted in despite having contracted the virus at the Tour de Suisse. Then Vegard Stake Laengen and George Bennett were forced out of the race, while Rafał Majka continues with a low viral load.
This latest positive result is one more blow to Pogačar’s title defence, which suffered its biggest setback thus far on stage 11.