Interesting developments in how other sports are coping with Covid-19

The news that the Tour de France organisers will remove any team from the event that has two positive tests with in a week is a very interesting development as to how alpine ski racing could cope with the World Cup this season, as per the BBC Sport website.

With the Alpine World Cup a similar multi venue event with lots of travelling, the idea of the tour being in a bubble has already been brought up, as we reported a few weeks ago. The importance of the World Cup happening is vital not just to satisfy the hunger of the fans in seeing the stars of today racing but also for the whole winter sport industry. Ski racing is a huge public advert for resorts, tourism, the vast array of manufacturers involved in the sport and the physical health of people - winter sport is a very popular activity.

Should FIS go down the same route as the Tour de France Organisers with positive tests, this could see racers pulled from races if they show symptoms or have had two positive tests. A number of racers have had the Coronavirus including Alexis Pinturault and have, thankfully, recovered.

When the lockdown restrictions were eased in France, travel became possible but the FFS (French Ski Federation) implemented some tough measures when people were travelling by mini bus too and from training camps as well as from hotel to lift. These rules included one person per row in a mini bus and the use of face masks on lifts in an effort to keep people safe.

While Sölden is hoping to still go ahead with fans in attendance for the Opening races of the 2020-2021 season, it would not be a surprise for fans to have a temperature check before they are allowed up onto the Rettenbach Glacier come the races in October (16 & 17). Keeping the athletes safe will be a high priority for both FIS and the local organising committee.

On the Tour de France racers share a room for the over night stops and the organisers have explained that a positive test will not mean cancellation of the tour. The Tour de France is three weeks where as the Alpine World Cup is hoping to run from October to March 2021.

With the World Cup ski racing tour travelling from resort to resort and racers ducking in and out of the tour depending on what disciplines they are doing, keeping the racers isolated and safe will be a tough job. It is hoped that the racers, coaches and support staff will see the common sense in maintaining their distance and safety unlike some athletes in other sports recently.

With just under two months before the Alpine World Cup is due to start in Sölden, we have already seen a cancellation of the races in North America with the races rescheduled in Europe but the rise in cases across countries in Europe that are hoping to host races this winter is a huge concern for FIS and fans of the World Cup.

Training camps are still continuing around Europe on glaciers but with more quarantine restrictions being announced almost on a daily basis due to the rise in cases, is making it is getting harder for these to continue, especially for British athletes.

The Alpine World Cup is the public eye of racing and indeed the winter sports market. It is vital that a way is found for the races to happen but keeping 200 plus people in a bubble for over four months and safe will be a nightmare for FIS.

The health and safety of all those involved is paramount.

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