A French cyclist who exited the Tour de France early says he quit due to breathing difficulties that were also experienced by other riders in the Tour.
In an interview with French newspaper La Parisien, Cofidis’ cycling team’s Victor Lafay, 26, admitted the weather was extremely hot, but said he quit the race because he couldn’t breathe.
“The heat, again, is fine. We are well supplied, we water ourselves, we have ice cubes. I didn’t find it horrible today. After that I didn’t finish the stage,” he stated.
After that stage of the race, however, Lafay quit because in his words it was “impossible to breathe.” He says he also spoke with other racers who quit who experienced the same phenomenon.
“I talked about it in the peloton, there are many who have it. Castroviejo (Ineos), he told me it was the same, Pierre Rolland (B&B Hôtels KTM) too, Naesen (AG2R Citroën) who retired had also told me about it. 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 the lungs screwed up. And when the muscles are not oxygenated, after a while it can no longer work.”
Lafay also spoke with French sports network Eurosport about his difficulty breathing.
Asked what he thinks might be the issue after typically doing so well in previous races, Lafay concluded he’s sick.