MEGEVE, France — Two-time Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar lost another teammate when George Bennett was forced out of the race before Stage 10 following a positive COVID-19 test on Tuesday.
Bennett, a New Zealander who rode in support of Pogacar with the UAE-Emirates team and was set to help him through the mountains, was tested on the rest day Monday after showing symptoms of the coronavirus, team doctor Adrian Rotunno said.
“He . . . returned a positive result,” Rotunno said. “Therefore he will not start today.”
Bennett was the second rider from the UAE-Emirates to leave the race because of a positive test after Vegard Stake Laengen last week.
Bennett was 32nd in the general classification.
His withdrawal was announced a day after the International Cycling Union said no riders tested positive for the virus during mandatory testing of the entire peloton before Monday.
Team BikeExchange-Jayco also announced the withdrawal of a rider on Tuesday after Australia’s Luke Durbridge tested positive before the start of Stage 10.
“Durbridge has very mild symptoms,” the team said.
The peloton tackled a 148-kilometer route on Tuesday from Morzine to Megeve in the Alps. Race leader Pogacar had a 39-second lead over second-placed Jonas Vingegaard.