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New law requires athletes to be vaccinated to compete in France

Will Strickson
17 Jan 2022

Government policy in France may see reduced fields for cycling's biggest races in 2022

France has introduced a vaccine mandate that requires all athletes to have been jabbed in order to compete in the country.

French sports minister Roxana Mărăcineanu tweeted last night that once the new law is introduced, spectators and athletes – whether French or from abroad – would need a vaccine pass.

There is a level of uncertainty on how this will actually impact cycling though, as the law specifically references public buildings, which – aside from the track – wouldn't include actual bike races, so it may be possible to get around this for one-day races like the upcoming GP La Marseillaise or Paris-Roubaix.

However, given the fact that riders need a wealth of hotels for stage races, it's clear that that will cause at least some problems for the peloton starting with Paris-Nice and then both men's and women's Tours de France.

It may also be the case that the law goes wider than just public buildings as news agency AFP has reported simply that all athletes wishing to compete in France must be vaccinated.

There have been rumours about certain riders still being unvaccinated – not including UAE Team Emirates who publicly got their first shots in January 2021 – so teams may be forced into making changes to their plans or having tricky conversations with their riders.

Who said the 2022 calendar wouldn't be impacted by Covid?

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