Four of Remco Evenepoel’s teammates out of Giro d’Italia with COVID-19
Only three riders from Soudal Quick-Step remain, and Andrea Vendrame also leaves the Giro ahead of stage 11.
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First it was Remco Evenepoel, now four more of his Soudal Quick-Step teammates are out of the Giro d’Italia.
Just days after Evenepoel’s exit while in the pink jersey, half of the Belgian team will also leave the Giro following diagnoses for the coronavirus.
Jan Hirt, Josef Cerny, Louis Vervaeke, and Mattia Cattaneo will not start Wednesday’s 11th stage, officials confirmed Wednesday.
“After the positive of Remco on Sunday evening, we had two more riders who were feeling unwell on Monday morning, but were negative on antigen tests,” said team doctor Toon Cruyt. “Therefore a PCR test was carried out on the seven remaining riders, the results of which showed that the four guys were positive. We will continue to monitor and implement our testing protocol on the three riders and staff that remain at the race.”
- Evenepoel out of the Giro with COVID
- After Remco, what happens next in the Giro?
- Geraint Thomas now in pole position for pink jersey
With the exit of Evenepoel and four others, only three of the original starters — Davide Ballerini, Pieter Serry, and Ilan Van Wilder — remain.
3 months of perfect preparation for the @giroditalia. Months of sacrifice away from family.
But unfortunately, you don’t have everything in your own hands. After the ride, I got confirmation why I had not felt 100% fit since these few days.
Covid has got me too pic.twitter.com/ifPTxJzrke
— Louis Vervaeke (@LouisVervaeke) May 17, 2023
Ag2r-Citroën also confirmed that Andrea Vendrame will be a non-starter for the 11th stage.
“Andrea has tested positive for COVID-19. He was immediately isolated from the other riders on the team, who all tested negative. He will return home today,” said team doctor Etienne Barbiche.
The six other riders, including American Larry Warbasse, will start the stage, team officials said.
The latest round of infections comes on the heels of earlier departures, including Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), Domenico Pozzovivo (Israel Premier Tech), Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-EasyPost), Callum Scotson (Jayco-AlUla), and Sven Erik Bystrøm (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty).
Race officials reinstated mask protocols for staffers and media, and teams are reintroducing stricter health protocols and safety measures that many thought were in the rearview mirror.