French cyclist Alexis Vuillermoz collapsed from heatstroke as he crossed the finish line of the ninth stage of the Tour de France on Sunday evening as temperatures reached 26 C (78F).
The TotalEnergies rider vomited during the stage and then was treated by medical staff after crossing the finish line in the French Alps. He was later taken to a nearby hospital citing severe fatigue and heatstroke.
“I am reassured to be able to leave the hospital after a battery of examinations,” the French rider wrote on Twitter.
“Thank you to the medical teams for the care. We will take stock of my condition with the team. For now, I will try to recover after this day [which was] more than complicated.”
The French rider finished 159th at nearly 36 minutes behind stage winner Bob Jungels after a day featuring two category one climbs in increasing summer heat.
Temperatures on Sunday reached 26 degrees, and by Thursday are expected to hit 34 degrees and remain in the 30s, reaching up to 35 - 95 Fahrenheit - by the middle of next week.
Team TotalEnergies updated followers on its official Twitter page, writing: "Victim of a heatstroke during the stage, Alexis was taken care of by the team and race medical staff at the finish. As a precaution, he was then transported to the hospital in Thonon-les-Bains in order to carry out additional examinations."
On Monday the tour moved into a rest day as COVID-19 continued to circulate amongst participants.
Guillaume Martin, who had been 14th overall, became the third rider to to leave the race due to a positive test on Sunday morning, following Geoffrey Bouchard and race leader Tadej Pogacar’s team-mate Vegard Stake Laengen.
Other teams have also lost staff members.
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All riders underwent tests on Sunday night, with staff members tested on Monday.
“In our team we really take care with hygiene and everything so I hope there will not be many positives,” Pogacar said. “We keep our fingers crossed the whole bunch stays together.”
This year's race has been fraught with complications after Italian cyclist Daniel Oss fractured a vertebrae in his neck when he collided with spectators last Wednesday.
Last week's crash reminded many of the Tour de France fiasco of 2021, when a spectator holding up a cardboard sign in the path of oncoming riders led to a disastrous pileup that forced numerous cyclists to the ground.