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Remco Evenepoel leaves the Giro d'Italia as the overall leader. © ANSA / ZEN

That's behind the Giro star's Corona exit

There was apparently no alternative to the withdrawal of world champion and overall first-placer Remco Evenepoel from the 106th Giro d'Italia due to a positive corona test.

“You never know what’s going on under your skin. No risk,” tweeted team boss Patrick Lefevere after the Soudal Quick Step cycling team had taken its star out of the race on Sunday evening. The world cycling association UCI relaxed the Corona regulations at the start of the season. There are no longer any mandatory tests; instead, it is now up to the teams how they deal with the virus.

Evenepoel won the second individual time trial at the Giro on Sunday and took back the overall leader's pink jersey before the first rest day. After the stage he complained of mild cold symptoms. “Corona no longer has the full power it used to have, but still…” Belgian virologist Marc van Ranst told the broadcaster Spouse: “Evenepoel made the right decision for his health. In addition, people still live in a group there. You can infect anyone there, even now that the virus is less powerful.”

“I am proud to leave the race with two stage wins and four pink jerseys” Remco Evenepoel

Team doctor Yvan van Mol had already explained the team's internal procedure at the start of the season: “We don't know what consequences this has for your cardiac system. Our role is to prevent our riders who have tested positive for Corona from continuing to compete. We don’t have enough hindsight to be sure that this won’t have an impact on their health.”

Already 6 Corona failures

A total of six riders have already dropped out because of Corona since the start of the Giro on May 6th. On Sunday, former Tour de France runner-up Rigoberto Uran from Colombia also had to miss out after an infection. Previously, the two-time time trial world champion Filippo Ganna and Bora-hansgrohe rider Giovanni Aleotti (both Italy) had been hit. Before the race, some drivers had already decided not to start after testing positive.

Evenepoel has already left by car accompanied by his family. “I am proud to leave the race with two stage wins and four pink jerseys,” wrote the 23-year-old young star on Instagram. Evenepoel was the big favorite for overall victory alongside the Slovenian Primoz Roglic.


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