Tour de France cyclist collapses with heatstroke after crossing finish line in 9th stage

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CHÂTEL - LES PORTES DU SOLEIL, FRANCE - JULY 10: Alexis Vuillermoz of France and Team Total Energies reacts after the 109th Tour de France 2022, Stage 9 a 192,9km stage from Aigle to Châtel les portes du Soleil 1299m / #TDF2022 / #WorldTour / on July 10, 2022 in Châtel les portes du Soleil, France. (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)
Alexis Vuillermoz, part of team Team Total Energies at the 109th Tour de France, collapsed after finishing on Sunday (Getty)

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.”

CHÂTEL - LES PORTES DU SOLEIL, FRANCE - JULY 10: Alexis Vuillermoz of France and Team Total Energies reacts after the 109th Tour de France 2022, Stage 9 a 192,9km stage from Aigle to Châtel les portes du Soleil 1299m / #TDF2022 / #WorldTour / on July 10, 2022 in Châtel les portes du Soleil, France. (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)
Vuillermoz was taken to hospital but later discharged and told to rest, his team said (Getty)

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."

CHÂTEL - LES PORTES DU SOLEIL, FRANCE - JULY 10: Alexis Vuillermoz of France and Team Total Energies reacts after the 109th Tour de France 2022, Stage 9 a 192,9km stage from Aigle to Châtel les portes du Soleil 1299m / #TDF2022 / #WorldTour / on July 10, 2022 in Châtel les portes du Soleil, France. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Vuillermoz had already been assessed by a medic after vomiting earlier in the day while cycling in searing heat (Getty)

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.

CHASTREIX-SANCY, FRANCE - JUNE 07: (L-R) Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway and Alexis Vuillermoz of France and Team Total Energies Yellow Leader Jersey shared food during the 74th Criterium du Dauphine 2022 - Stage 3 a 169km stage from Saint-Paulien to Chastreix-Sancy 1391m / #WorldTour / #Dauphiné / on June 07, 2022 in Chastreix-Sancy, France. (Photo by Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)
Several competitors in the Tour de France have tested positive for coronavirus in recent days (Getty)

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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.

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