Michael Woods latest abandon from Tour de France with positive COVID-19 test

FOIX FRANCE JULY 19 Michael Woods of Canada and Team Israel Premier Tech competes in the chase group during the 109th Tour de France 2022 Stage 16 a 1785km stage from Carcassonne to Foix TDF2022 WorldTour on July 19 2022 in Foix France Photo by Michael SteeleGetty Images
Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) in the chase on stage 16 of the Tour de France 2022 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Canadian climber Mike Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) has become the 17th rider of the 2022 Tour de France to test positive for COVID-19 and leave the race early.

Woods teammates Chris Froome, who triumphed in the race overall four times, and stage five winner Simon Clarke have already had to quit the race for the same reason.

The news was Tweeted by his team Sunday morning, saying simply "While we are all looking forward to the final stage in Paris today, unfortunately, Michael Woods won’t take the start as he has returned a positive Covid test."

After crashing in the first week but then recovering strongly in the Pyrenees to help support his compatriot and teammate Hugo Houle to win at Foix, Woods told Cyclingnews he was hoping to go on to race the Vuelta a España in August.

Woods also came third on that stage, fighting it out for the lower steps of the podium with Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ) who beat him in a sprint to the line after Houle took his stage 16 solo victory 1:10 ahead of the duo. Riding his eighth Grand Tour, Woods was lying 36th overall at the time of his DNS for stage 21. 

This is his second abandon of the Tour in two years, leaving early in 2021 to recover from his crashes ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

It was stage 15 when teammate Clarke left the Tour after a positive COVID-19 test and Froome abandoned the race ahead of the final mountain stage to Hautacam after being among the riders to sign on on at the start of stage 18 in Lourdes but then testing positive shortly afterwards.

The team will now ride into Paris with four riders, having also lost Jakob Fuglsang to a crash where he fractured his rib on stage 15.

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.