‘This cannot be true’: riders react to Tour de France fans not wearing masks and to day of rest coronavirus tests

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Tour de France riders called on fans lined up on the climbs to keep their masks on, as the French Grand Tour rumbles under the cloud of the coronavirus pandemic and riders face a one-day coronavirus test of rest that could see individuals or entire teams expelled from the race.

On Saturday’s eighth stage in the Pyrenees, the televised footage clearly drew supporters with their masks down as the riders tackled the Peyresourde.

“It’s definitely a problem,” said Nicholas Roche of Sunweb. “I think the photos say it all. I had mixed feelings when I saw the fans on the Peyresourde and started getting goosebumps again with the adrenaline rush. I was like ‘ah this is the Tour’ and the next thing right away was like ‘no, that can’t be fair’.

To access the climbs, fans needed a bike and a mask, which makes it even more puzzling that spectators wear their masks under their chins as the peloton passes.

>>> Egan Bernal carried by the Pyrenean performances and sets his sights on the Alps

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