Impey and Coquard out of Tour de France with COVID-19, Jungels gets green light to race

 Bob Jungels of Luxembourg and AG2R Citren Team prior to the 81st SkodaTour De Luxembourg 2021
Bob Jungels of Luxembourg and AG2R Citren Team prior to the 81st SkodaTour De Luxembourg 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) and Daryl Impey (Israel Premier Tech) will miss the Tour de France after testing positive for COVID-19, but Bob Jungels (AG2R Citroën) was given the all-clear to race on Thursday morning after it was deemed that he was no longer contagious following his coronavirus diagnosis.

Coquard will be replaced in the Cofidis Tour de France line-up by Pierre-Luc Périchon, while Guy Niv will take Impey’s place in the Israel Premier Tech squad.

Jungels risked missing the Tour following his positive PCR test for COVID-19 on Wednesday. But he has been allowed to participate after further testing on Thursday morning in keeping with the revised COVID-19 protocol that the UCI rolled out ahead of the Tour.

“Following a PCR test carried out on Wednesday that revealed a slight viral load,  @BobJungels underwent a new PCR test this morning,” read a statement from AG2R Citroën on social media. “The result of this test confirms that he's not contagious. The medical management of the UCI confirms he will be able to participate in @LeTour.”

There was no such reprieve for Daryl Impey, who was absent from Wednesday evening’s team presentation after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. The the South African was hopeful that he would return negative tests in time to travel to Copenhagen from his home in Girona to participate in the Tour, but it was confirmed on Thursday mroning that he would be unable to take part in the Tour after both antigen and PCR tests continued to come back positive. 

Impey is the second rider forced out of the Israel Premier Tech line-up due to COVID-19, with Omer Goldstein replaced by Guillaume Boivin earlier this week. Impey won a stage on the 2019 Tour and he warmed up for this year’s race with victory on stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse. 

“COVID got me during the week – no symptoms so it’s very frustrating for me,” Impey said in a video on his personal YouTube channel.

“It’s frustrating, I don’t see how the Tour is going to get through the next three weeks if they’re going to test people every two or three days. Coronavirus is something we’re just going to have to live with it.”

Impey missed last year’s Tour after breaking his pelvis in a crash on the final day of the Ruta del Sol and, despite his frustration, he acknowledged that this experience was altogether different.

“There are some positives to take: last year, I was in a wheelchair watching the Tour de France,” he said. “I’m still healthy, so I have got something to put things in perspective for myself.”


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Barry Ryan
Head of Features

Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation, published by Gill Books.