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Hirschi replaces COVID-positive Trentin in UAE Tour de France squad

Italys Matteo Trentin of UAE Team Emirates celebrates his victory on the podium of the Grand Prix du Samyn
Matteo Trentin is out of the 2022 Tour de France after testing positive for COVID-19 (Image credit: JASPER JACOBSBelgaAFP via Getty Images)

Just two days out from the Tour de France Grand Départ in Copenhagen, the team of reigning champion Tadej Pogačar has been forced into a late lineup change after Matteo Trentin tested positive for COVID-19 in the final round of testing before the race.

The Italian, who was due to start his seventh Tour de France this year, "feels well and is not displaying any symptoms" according to a statement released by his UAE Team Emirates team.

In his place, the team has decided to call up Swiss rider Marc Hirschi, who won a stage and the combativity award in 2020. The 23-year-old recently caught COVID-19 at the Tour de Suisse as he and his UAE teammates were among the mass list of withdrawals due to the virus at the race.

Hirschi hasn't raced since, opting not to take part in the Swiss National Championships road race last weekend.

He joined the team last season from Team DSM, overcoming off-season hip surgery to get back to racing in the spring. He has two wins to his name in 2022, at Per Sempre Alfredo and the GP Kantons Aargau, as well as 10 other top-10 placings.

Hirschi will link up with Pogačar, Brandon McNulty, Marc Soler, Rafał Majka, Mikkel Bjerg, George Bennett, and Vegard Stake Laengen at the Tour as the team seeks to win the race for the third time in as many years.

Trentin, meanwhile, joins a small list of riders ruled out of the Tour days before the start. Tuesday saw QuickStep-AlphaVinyl domestique Tim Declercq replaced with Florian Sénéchal after the Belgian tested positive for COVID-19, while Edvald Boasson Hagen was called up by TotalEnergies to replace Cristian Rodríguez, who reportedly fell foul of a non-COVID related illness.

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Daniel Ostanek
Daniel Ostanek

Daniel Ostanek is production editor at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired as staff writer. Prior to joining the team, he had written for most major publications in the cycling world, including CyclingWeekly, Rouleur, and CyclingTips.

 

Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France and the spring Classics, and has interviewed many of the sport's biggest stars, including Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, Demi Vollering, and Anna van der Breggen.

 

As well as original reporting, news and feature writing, and production work, Daniel also runs The Leadout newsletter and oversees How to Watch guides throughout the season. His favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Volta a Portugal, and he rides a Colnago C40.