No end in sight for David Gaudu's Tour de France nightmare - French rider tests positive for Covid-19

With the passion of the French fans and of a Groupama - FDJ team that has had incredibly popular leaders in the past, David Gaudu has taken on the responsibility of carrying the nation's ambitions as an overall classification contender for the Tour de France over the past few years. But all factors seem to be against him this season; with one week to the Grand Depart he has tested positive for Covid-19.

Gaudu, a strong and pure climber, rode to a fantastic fourth place at the 2022 Tour de France at age 25 which gave out very good prospects for the team and country who long await a new contender to win the Tour - the last time France has won was back in 1985 with Bernard Hinault. A lot of good riders have since tried, but in recent years other nations have been taking over the scene.

In 2023 Groupama - FDJ focused fully on the overall classification, providing Gaudu with full support whilst leaving out Arnaud Démare who left the team as a result of this choice. A lot of responsibility on his shoulders, which ended up resulting in a ninth place in the overall classification.

Throughout the spring, there was a lack of an impressive result against the World Tour field. Gaudu did manage to take his first win in almost two years at the Tour du Jura, but at World Tour level the 27-year old was distant from his former self. However with the Tour being his main goal of the season, this was not a disastrous situation. But at the Criterium du Dauphiné Gaudu only managed to ride to 15th in the GC. Hopes of improving on his GC result from last year were already low but more bad news emerge from the team camp.

"Tested positive for Covid-19, David Gaudu will not be taking part in Sunday's French Championship RR. He will concentrate on his recovery ahead of the Tour de France." Whilst he will not be a key absence from the nationals, this is another hit for his hopes of a good Tour de France.

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