George Bennett becomes second rider from team UAE-Emirates forced out of Tour de France with COVID-19

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.