Vuelta a España: COVID-19 withdrawals climb to 23 as two more riders quit

Boy van Poppel and Santiago Buitrago the latest to leave due to the virus.

Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

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The total number of riders leaving the Vuelta a España with COVID-19 has increased to 23 with the news that two further riders withdrew prior to the start of Thursday’s stage 12.

Bahrain Victorious announced Thursday morning that the Colombian climber Santiago Buitrago had tested positive after becoming mildly symptomatic. He had been sitting 44th overall.

“Santiago Buitrago will not start stage 12 of La Vuelta due to a positive COVID-19 test with mild symptoms,” it said via social media. “All other riders and staff have returned negative tests. The team will start the race today with six riders. Get well soon Santi!”

Also read: COVID-19 at the Vuelta a España: Yates and Sivakov the latest in a growing list of riders

Also exiting the race is the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert sprinter Boy van Poppel, who was 10th on stage 11.

“Boy van Poppel, who was asymptomatic, tested positive for COVID-19 & will not appear at the start of stage 12 of La Vuelta,” said his team on Twitter.

Both teams had previously lost a rider to COVID-19 positives earlier in the race. Wout Poels was a non-starter for Bahrain-Victorious on stage 9, while Jan Hirt was Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert’s withdrawal prior to stage 6.

A total of 23 riders have now left the Vuelta a España since the race got underway, six more than for the whole Tour de France.

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