This Week the Tour de France was Full of Ups and Downs, Here are Some of the Highlights.
LatinAmerican Post| Juan Manuel Londoño
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Leer en español: Un Tour desastrozo: esta semana en el Tour de Francia
With half of this edition of the Tour de France in the past, we decided to recount some of the highlights that this annual competition has left us. At press time, the overall leader of the race is Jonas Vingegaard, who is in competition with Tadej Pogacar and Geraint Thomas. For now, in the top 10 of this competition the only Latino is the Colombian Nairo Quintana, but this could change during the course of the race. Without further ado, here is a short list of the highlights of the Tour.
The threat of COVID-19
A scourge that the Tour has not been able to get rid of is the presence of COVID-19. Several prominent cyclists have already tested positive. They include Warren Barguil, Luke Durbridge (BikeExchange-Jayco), Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), George Bennett and Vegard Stake Laengen (both UAE Emirates).
There have also been several positive cases within the staff of the various teams. For example, the manager of Tadej Pogacar, one of the favorites to win the event, tested positive.
The organizers of the event have been accused of not taking the necessary measures to prevent contagion, and of carrying out diagnostic tests improperly.
Climate activists on the road
Senior officials from the Tour de France organization were seen dragging some climate change protesters into a ditch during the 10th stage of the race. Protesters sat on the field and lit red flares about 36km from the finish. Some of them were attached to the road, while others were tied using chains. The race had to be stopped for almost 15 minutes while the authorities helped to remove them from the road.
Campaigners were seeking to get the French government to heat-insulate all homes to help reduce carbon emissions that cause climate change.
Some of them spoke to the press, stating that they plan to repeat this type of action. Thibaut Cantent, one of the activists, told Cycling Weekly that “The general idea is that we will keep doing it until they put us in jail or our government listens to us. As much as we can, and as much as resources allow us, we will continue to go to soccer matches, roads and the Tour de France route, where protests are possible.”
A dog causes a fall
Cyclists Yves Lampaert and Steven Kruijswijk were the victims of a preventable accident on stage 12 of the Tour. The accident occurred in the first part of the stage, on a busy street, when a dog tried to cross the road. Fortunately, the animal was unharmed and, despite the two affected cyclists, there were no more injuries within the group of competitors.
It is not the first accident that has happened in this edition of the event, since during stage 10 there was also a massive fall, which among others affected the Colombian Nairo Quintana.