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Days after notching two stage victories at the Tour of Oman, and just before he was set to start the UAE Tour for UAE Team Emirates, Fernando Gaviria tested positive for COVID-19.
The positive test will keep the Colombian sprinter out of his teams home tour, where his current sprinting form would have come in handy. Instead, UAE Team Emirates will fly in their new signing for 2022 Pascal Ackermann. Ackermann won the opening stage of the UAE Tour in 2020 before the race was cancelled due to an early-pandemic coronavirus outbreak.
🔁 Unfortunately due to a positive Covid-19 test @FndoGaviria will not participate in the upcoming #UAETour.— @UAE-TeamEmirates (@TeamEmiratesUAE) February 17, 2022
Stepping in to take his place will be fellow sprinter @Ackes171 .#UAETeamEmirstes #WeAreUAE pic.twitter.com/QUwVApAQdo
This is the third time Gaviria has tested positive for COVID-19, the first time was at the 2020 UAE Tour, the second time was in October of 2020 during the rescheduled Giro d’Italia. At the time, he was one of the rare known individuals to have tested positive for the virus twice.
Since it was early in the pandemic Gaviria’s first positive COVID-19 result left him stranded in the race hotel in the UAE for two weeks. His symptoms were mild and he returned to racing once the season restarted in August with the rest of the professional peloton.