Tour de France 2022: is Chris Froome out of cycling race? Former winner withdraws with Covid-19

Britain’s Chris Froome has tested positive for Covid-19 and has now had to withdraw from Tour de France

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The Tour de France is currently in its 18th stage with cyclists currently competing from Lourdes - Hautacam, the last of the high-altitude tests of the race.

The Slovenian 2021 winner Tadej Pogacar is currently doing all he can to defend his title from last year while Britain’s Geraint Thomas is sitting third in the leaderboard overall.

However, while we may celebrate the success of one Brit, we must bid farewell to another after Chris Froome announced he had tested positive for Covid-19.

Froome has previously won the competition four times - 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 - but must now watch from the sidelines after contracting the virus.

The 37-year-old was showing signs of a return to form after suffering a serious crash in 2019 and was on track for his first stage win since the crash before being forced to withdraw ahead of Thursday’s stage.

Froome will now prepare for the Vuelta a Espana which takes place later in August.

What has Chris Froome said?

Taking to social media, the Israel-Premier driver sadid: “I’m really disappointed not to be able to roll into Paris and finish off this Tour de France

“It’s been an extremely special race for us as a team and for me personally as well as I’ve been finding my legs again. I want to thank everyon for all the support through this process.

“I’m going to head home now, switch off for a few days and refocus on being ready for the Vuelta a Espana later this season.”

When is the Veulta a Espana?

The Spanish equivalent of the Tour de France begins on 19 August and concludes on 11 September. Froome has won this event twice - 2011 and 2017.

How many stages are left of the Tour de France?

There are currently only three more stages left of the 2022 Tour de France once the Lourdes to Hautacam stage has been completed.

Stage 19 will take place tomorrow, Friday 22 July 2022, and is an 188.5km route from Castelnau-Magnoac to Cahors.

The penultimate stage takes place from Lacapelle-Marival to Rocamadour which is a sprint race of 40.7km before the final stage takes place on Sunday 24 July from Paris La Defense Arena to the iconic Paris Champs Elysee.

How to watch the Tour de France

ITV4 are showing live coverage of the whole Tour de France while daily highlights will also be available.

Eurosport are another provider showing extensive coverage of all 21 stages. Subscriptions for £6.99/month or £39.99/month.

Who is winning the Tour de France?

Danish cyclist Jonas Vinegaard is currently first in the Tour de France leaderboard with a total time of 67 hours and 53 minutes while the 2021 champion Tadej Pogacar is just behind in second place.

Welsh cyclist Geraint Thomas is sitting in third position.

Here are the top 10 cyclists:

  1. Jonas Vinegegaard - Jumbo Visma
  2. Tadej Pogacar - UAE Team Emirates
  3. Geraint Thomas - Ineos Grenadiers
  4. Nairo Quintana - Team Arkea Samsic
  5. David Gaudu - Groupama
  6. Romain Bardet - Team DSM
  7. Louis Meintjes - Intermarche Wanty Gobert Materiaux
  8. Aleksandr Vlasov - Bora Hansgrohe
  9. Adam Yates - Ineos Grenadiers
  10. Enric Mas Movistar Team