Colombian Tour de France hopefuls depart for Europe amid strict coronavirus protocols

Colombian riders on the special Avianca flight to Europew
(Image credit: Twitter)

The leading Colombian professional cyclists, including defending Tour de France champion Egan Bernal (Team Ineos), have arrived in Madrid aboard a special flight for athletes that left the El Dorado Luis Carlos Galan Sarmiento International Airport in Bogotá on Sunday.

The coronavirus pandemic halted all international flights to and from Colombia on March 23 and extended the ban through August 31 in one of the longest lockdown periods to combat the spread of COVID-19. With the Tour de France beginning on August 29 in Nice, pro riders were given special dispensation to travel on a charter flight on July 19.

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