The Tour of Italy has been hit by several positive corona tests. Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) and Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) have become infected with the virus, as have several staff members. The teams Jumbo-Visma and Mitchelton-Scott then decided to leave the Giro.
Sport in times of corona remains a tough challenge. When the virus just broke out, almost all sports worldwide were shut down. Sports have started again this summer. Last month, for example, the Tour de France was successfully ridden without a corona infection in one of the riders.
At the moment the Tour of Italy is underway and they seem to have less luck there. On October 10 – for the eighth stage – Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), one of the favorites, was infected with the corona virus. After an extra check with the rest of his team, the race continued as usual.
This morning it was reported that there were several positive cases in the Giro d’Italia. It turned out to be the riders Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) and Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma). They had to leave the match immediately and go into quarantine. Both riders would still feel fine and have no symptoms.
Michelton-Scott and Jumbo-Visma
In addition, another six members of staff turn out to be positive. It concerns four employees from Mitchelton-Scott, one from AG2R La Mondiale and one from INEOS-Grenadiers. That first team, which previously had a positive rider with Yates, immediately decided to leave the Giro.
“Unfortunately we got the message on Monday evening that after our third round of testing we had a number of positive Covid results in three days. Fortunately, those affected show no or mild symptoms, but as an organization, the health of all our riders and staff is our number one priority. As a social responsibility towards our riders and staff, the peloton and the race organization, we have decided to withdraw from the Giro d’Italia ”, says manager Brent Copeland.
Shortly afterwards, the news came that Team Jumbo-Visma will also leave the Tour of Italy. “We think it is the most responsible decision to withdraw, because we have all been very close to Steven. Especially when we also look at what happened at Mitchelton-Scott ”, sports director Addy Engels said.
Giro continues as usual
Team Sunweb, of the infected Matthews, will just start in the tenth stage. Even Chris Hamilton, Matthews’ roommate, stays in the race. “All other riders, including Hamilton, and staff have taken a negative test and at the moment no team member is showing symptoms of Covid-19. The team will continue to monitor closely within the bubble, ”the team explains.
The rest of the peloton also continues in the direction of Milan. “I don’t think there is a risk that we will have to stop the race. We have already done 1,500 tests. One team turned out to be infected, but for the rest it was only one person per team. I don’t see any risk now because the numbers are low considering how it could be. We will see further next week ”, explains race director Mauro Vegni to Eurosport.
Nevertheless, the attitude of the Giro organization is quickly criticized on social media. According to various sources, they do not take so closely with the guidelines. For example, riders in their hotel would sometimes come into contact with other people from outside the race.