Coronakaos Up To The Tour: – The Riders Live A Monk Life

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No less than 50 riders had to go out with the corona in the middle of the big stage race Around Switzerland, which was run from 12-19. June. It sent shock waves through the cycling world, and suddenly there were fears whether teams and riders could make the start of the Tour de France. But for Brian Holm, who is sports director for the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team with three Danes in the fold, there is no reason for corona panic, even though there are only ten days until the first stage in Copenhagen. – It’s not something you think about much. Aleksandr Vlasov, who won the fifth stage (of Around Switzerland, ed.) Even had a corona, so it’s not because I think it’s a death sentence to get it. – It is just before, the riders hope to get it before the Tour, so they can be declared healthy, he tells Ekstra Bladet. The article continues below the picture … A corona eruption during Around Switzerland meant that Richard Carapaz from Ineos had to retire and thus lost his yellow jersey. Danish Jakob Fuglsang managed to have a day in yellow, but finished the race as a total of three. Geraint Thomas took the victory. – So you do not have a requirement for your riders that they must go in isolation up to the Tour? – They always are, after all. They live a monk-life in advance. They are very little out among other people – that’s life as a professional cyclist. And once the Tour has started, there are no worries from Brian Holm or the riders regarding the corona. – I can guarantee you that as soon as the riders sit on the bikes, they have forgotten all about the corona. It is assumed that this will not happen. You take care when you are a cyclist. However, it would hurt him if one of the Danish riders had to miss the Danish Grand Depart due to corona. – If one of the Danish drivers got corona, it would hurt me on their behalf. But I would actually not care if I got it a few days before, then I can just follow it on TV, he says, laughing a little over the phone connection. The article continues below the picture … Kasper Asgreen is one of three Danish riders at Quick-Step. Photo: Ernst van Norde Back in the bubble At EF Education-EasyPost, the corona eruption in Switzerland does not mean the big changes for the riders up to the start of the Tour. This is assured by assistant sports director Matti Breschel, who, however, says that it all comes down to a very special test. – Of course, we hope that our Tour team tests negative for this test, which must be taken 48 hours before the start of the Tour. When it is done and we are accommodated, we enter a bubble where we are cut off from all other people. – Will your riders isolate themselves towards the start of the Tour? – Yes they do. It is clearly a recommendation from the team that they should take care of themselves and should avoid seeing too many people, says Breschel and elaborates that this is not a requirement. – They are already a bit in the zone where they train, and they already do not bother to see so many people. The article continues below the picture … Matti Breschel is the current Assistant Sports Director at EF Education-EasyPost. He is himself a former cyclist and has ridden for Team Saxo Bank, Astana and EF Education First, among others. Photo: Claus Bonnerup / POLFOTO EF was hit hard by the corona in Around Switzerland, where most of their riders had to retire. Only two riders in the pink jersey crossed the finish line on the eighth and final stage. This has meant that the team is very aware of the consequences of a new outbreak. That is why Matti Breschel is also crossing his fingers that the riders can get single rooms in the hotels during the Tour. – It has not been confirmed yet, but the best thing would be that we could all get single rooms. But of course it’s a little difficult because everything is booked, he says and continues. – We (single rooms, ed.) We have had the last two years, but it has been relaxed for this season start because corona went the right way. The article continues below the picture … Michael Valgren is driving for EF Education-EasyPost, but a violent accident during the Route d’Occitanie on Sunday means he can not start the Tour de France. Photo: Stephane Mahe / Ritzau Scanpix Brian Holm and Quick-Step also hope that all riders can get single rooms again. – We have the usual procedure of the riders being tested, wearing bandages, and they are given single rooms. It was the same thing we did when it was at its worst with corona. Matti Breschel has a prayer for the organizers that they will do their part to ensure that the teams are separated in the hotels and make sure that everything is optimized. ——— SPLIT ELEMENT ——— SSI: ‘We are ready for adjustments’ On Monday, the Danish Tour organizer, Grand Départ Copenhagen, had a meeting with the Tour de France organization ASO about the urgent corona situation. Based on that meeting, Grand Départ Copenhagen can say that, as it looks now, there will be no major changes to the Danish Tour start despite the corona outbreak during the Tour of Switzerland. ‘In Denmark, it is the health authorities’ rules and recommendations that apply in relation to covid-19. The Tour de France organization ASO follows the Danish authorities ‘instructions for covid-19 during the three Danish stages.’ ‘In addition, ASOUCI’s (International Cycling Union) follows specific rules and guidelines for eg testing, use of bandages in the areas where the riders and teams stay – and where they come close to the media and the audience,’ they write in a message to Ekstra The magazine. The article continues below the picture … Director of ASO, Christian Prudhomme, and Lars Løkke Rasmussen in the celebration of 100 days for the Grand Départ in Copenhagen. Photo: Lars Moeller / LetourCPH Although teams and riders are subject to corona restrictions, spectators to the Danish Grand Départ can still disregard distance, bandages and hand alcohol. This is despite the fact that it is expected that several hundred thousand people will stand along the routes in the three Danish stages. The Statens Serum Institut tells Ekstra Bladet in an email that they continue to monitor the development of covid-19, and that they are aware of major events such as the Tour de France. However, due to the strong immunity and large number of vaccines in the country, they do not consider it necessary to reintroduce restrictions in connection with the Tour. ‘At present, it is not the health authorities’ plans to impose restrictions on the major events, but the pandemic has taught us that we may need to quickly adjust guidelines and efforts.’ ‘SSI is constantly monitoring the development of covid virus variants internationally, and no new variants have been observed that we are not already familiar with, or it is estimated that we should be concerned about having to come with tourists or other foreign guests right now, it reads. from them. On 1 July, the first stage of the stack will run with a single start through the streets of Copenhagen. How the Danes win the 1st stage ——— SPLIT ELEMENT ——— Experts: Here is Denmark’s next Tour winner

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