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Remco Evenepoel's Giro dream has shattered. © APA/afp / LUCA BETTINI

Giro shock: The overall leader has to give up

The Giro d'Italia is in full swing - and top favorite Remco Evenepoel has the pink jersey in his hand. But now the Belgian has to bury his dream of winning the Giro.

The 23-year-old Belgian had to pull out of the Tour of Italy on Sunday after a routine corona test came back positive. Previously, top favorite Evenepoel had won the time trial of the 9th stage and the Pink sweater recaptured. “I'm really sorry that I have to leave the race. My experience here was really special,” he said.

Evenepoel won on Sunday afternoon over 35 km from Savignano sul Rubicone to Cesena in rainy conditions in a second showdown just ahead of the two Ineos professionals Geraint Thomas (+1 sec.) and Tao Geoghegan Hart (+2). The previous leader Andreas Leknessund from Norway was 19th (+1:15 mins). For Evenepoel it was the second stage victory in this year's tour. He is the fifth Corona case in the ongoing Giro.

Thomas is now leading the field

Evenepoel had regained the pink jersey from Leknessund, and in the overall standings the top favorite was 45 seconds ahead of Thomas. The Brit is now leading the race, just ahead of co-favorite Primoz Roglic (+47/Jumbo), who finished sixth on Sunday, only losing 17 seconds, with Geoghegan Hart lurking behind (+50). Leknessund, which is not considered a candidate for overall victory, fell to sixth place, 1:07 minutes behind. The first rest day at the Giro is on the agenda on Monday.


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