Tour de France riders implore roadside fans to wear masks

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Teams and riders have pleaded with Tour de France fans to wear face masks as the race prepares for its next round of Covid-19 testing.Saturday’s eighth stage, in which Adam Yates clung to yellow as the race exploded around him in the Pyrenees, was a thriller. But it also featured thousands of fans on the climbs of Port de Bales and Col de Peyresourde shouting at the runners or running alongside them. Many of them did not wear masks and did not maintain social distancing.

Sunday’s ninth stage is another Pyrenean test – from Pau to Laruns – before the next round of testing begins on Sunday evening and continues on Monday’s first day of rest. This will be the first time that drivers and team staff have been tested for Covid-19 since the start of the race in Nice, a Covid ‘red zone’, more than a week ago.

Any team judged positive among the runners or the staff will be excluded from the race.

The Professional Riders Association (CPA) called on fans to wear masks on the course. “To cycling fans: respect the runners, respect yourself, respect the distance and wear a mask,” the CPA said in a statement on Saturday.

Spain’s Movistar team released a statement on Twitter urging fans to use masks and maintain social distancing to give the race the best possible chance of reaching Paris on September 20.

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