The UCI has confirmed COVID-19 protocols for the 2022 road season ©Getty Images

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has confirmed COVID-19 protocols for the 2022 road season, with the governing body stressing national laws will take precedence at events.

The protocols are broadly similar to the 2021 protocols, the UCI said, with cycling poised for its third consecutive pandemic impacted season.

Entry into team bubbles for one-day and races with less than seven stages will require people to be fully vaccinated or produce a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test date less than two days previously.

PCR salivary tests are permitted but antigen tests are not.

Events featuring seven or more stages will require people to produce a negative PCR test dated less than two days previously.

This will be regardless of vaccination status.

PCR tests will also be conducted during Grand Tour races during the season.

The requirements will apply to riders, UCI personnel, Commissaires, anti-doping officials, medical teams, organisers and media.

The health protocol was established by a steering group led by UCI medical director, Professor Xavier Bigard.

Representatives of the riders, teams, team doctors and organisers feature on the steering group.

The UCI has confirmed that when national laws in an event’s host country are stricter than the UCI’s rules, it is the country’s laws that take precedence.

Where national laws are less strict, the UCI’s rules will apply.

Riders are likely to be required to be vaccinated to compete at the Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes ©Getty Images
Riders are likely to be required to be vaccinated to compete at the Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes ©Getty Images

The governing body has encouraged to ensure as many riders in the peloton as possible are vaccinated, with a booster third dose of the vaccine having been strongly recommended.

Vaccination status of riders appears poised to be a topic of discussions in the build-up to the Tour de France and the Tour de France Femmes, the relaunched eight-stage event for women.

The French Government last week passed a law requiring athletes and spectators who use public buildings to be vaccinated.

The Government has warned no exemptions are likely to be made.

UCI President David Lappartient has claimed cycling can continue to thrive despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I would like to thank all members of the steering group for its collaboration and hard work in the health interests of everyone at events on the UCI Road International Calendar," he said.

"The Covid-19 pandemic continues to cause suffering and disruption, but as we have demonstrated over the last two years, cycling is capable of maintaining its activities thanks to the responsible actions of all our stakeholders.

"I sincerely hope that these uncertain times will soon be behind us, but in the meantime I am confident that, thanks to the spirit of solidarity within the cycling family, our sport will continue to thrive."

The UCI has said rules introduced over the last two years for health and safety will continue to apply.

These include the obligation to wear a mask, maintaining social distancing and frequent disinfection of hands.

This year's UCI World Tour is due to start with the seven-stage UAE Tour in the United Arab Emirates on February 20, with the women's launching with the Strade Bianche one day event on March 5. 

The full UCI protocols can be viewed here.