Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates) during stage 7 of the 2022 Tour de France.

COVID-19 hits UAE Team Emirates as Vegard Stake Laengen tests positive

Tadej Pogačar's UAE Team Emirates support team is dented with the withdrawal of Vegard Stake Laengen after positive COVID-19 test.

by Kit Nicholson

photography by Cor Vos

UAE Team Emirates has confirmed that Vegard Stake Laengen has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been withdrawn from the 2022 Tour de France.

Laengen has been a pillar of the UAE Team Emirates Tour de France lineup since 2019, and was part of Tadej Pogačar’s support system for both his title wins. A pretty solid time trialist, the former Norwegian road champion is suited to anything from flat stages to medium mountains.

“Vegard tested negative yesterday morning during the routine internal team testing protocol,” said Dr Adriano Rotunno, team medical director. “But he reported sore throat symptoms late last night. The covid 19 antigen test was positive, and the diagnosis was confirmed on PCR test this morning.

“As per protocol, for his, the team, and the peloton’s safety, he will be withdrawn from the race.”

He’s not the only one forced to withdraw this morning. AG2R-Citroën’s Geoffrey Bouchard has also tested positive and will not start stage 8.

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