The Vuelta a Espana 2022 has suffered this Wednesday five casualties of cyclists infected with covid, including two who were fighting to finish on the podium. The Englishman Simon Yates, team leader of the BikeExchange-Jayco Team, was the first to report his abandonment before taking the start of the eleventh stage after testing positive for covid-19, as confirmed by his team. Yates, winner in 2018, was in fifth place overall, 4m 50s behind the leader, the Belgian Remco Evenepoel. His departure allows the Spanish Juan Ayuso to rise in the general classification to fifth position in the general classification.
Another cyclist from the ‘top 10’, Pavel Sivakov, has also withdrawn, as reported by his team. The Frenchman from Ineos Grenadiers was ninth, 7m 06s behind Evenepoel. A few minutes later, the Kern Pharma team reported the positive of three of its runners, the Spaniards Roger Adrià, Hector Carretero and Pau Miquel Delgado, who also left the race. The three runners were more than an hour behind the top finishers.
Yates’ team said the 30-year-old cyclist “experienced mild symptoms” overnight on Tuesday and tested positive on Wednesday morning. “In accordance with the strict policy of the team, Yates will not continue in the Vuelta”, remarked the Team BikeExchange-Jayco, which assured that he “will carry out more tests to guarantee the safety of other cyclists and staff members”. For his part, Sivakov has also tested positive for this Wednesday.
With these five dropouts, the Vuelta a Espana 2022 has already suffered 22 cyclists casualties due to covid and the organization has decided to reinforce the protocols to avoid an outbreak. The spread of the virus has accelerated in the peloton in recent days, with at least 19 cases detected since Friday. Four were officially announced on Tuesday before the Alicante time trial: Britain’s Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers), Australia’s Harry Sweeny (Lotto-Soudal), Spain’s Jose Herrada (Cofidis) and Ireland’s Sam Bennett (Bora), winner of two stages and that he was fighting for the green jersey of the points classification.
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Source: EL PAIS