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Victor Lafay quits Tour, cites mystery illness which hampers respiration

Says many other riders affected had to quit as well

Cyclist Victor Lafay riding up mountain Photo by: Sirotti

Cofidis rider Victor Lafay abandoned the Tour de France on Friday, on the stage from Bourg d’Oisans et Saint-Etienne. He said that he has been suffering from breathing difficulties which also affect other cyclists in the Tour.

He managed to survive the Alps, even finishing last at Alpe d’Huez but in the time limit. The Giro 2021 stage winner said he exhausted but disappointed. Although there has been extremely hot temperatures at the Tour, he said that he was having a hard time breathing.

In an interview with La Parisien, he said his troubles had nothing to do with the weather.

“The heat, is fine. We are well supplied, we hydrated well, we have ice cubes. I didn’t think it was horrible today. Afterwards I didn’t finish the stage… I think it will be harder in the Pyrenees, the heat in the passes is more complicated,” he said.

There was a concern that he may have contracted COVID-19, but he has twice tested negative.

“It is impossible to breathe. I talked to others iin the peloton, there are many who have it. Jonathan Castroviejo (Ineos), he told me it was the same, Pierre Rolland (B&B Hôtels KTM) too, Naesen (AG2R Citroën) who abandoned told me about it too,” Lafay explained “We are all negative to the Covid tests. So either we’re negative but we still have it, or it’s something else. We talk a lot about the Covid, but there may be something else. In any case, we all have screwed up lungs screwed up. And when the muscles are not oxygenated, after a while it can no longer work.”

Here’s the full interview with English subtitles: