After seeing Remco Evenepoel throw in the towel last weekend, the Soudal-Quick Step team confirmed this Wednesday that four other riders are affected by the coronavirus and must leave the Giro 2023 before the start of the 11th stage.
The Giro 2023 turns to berezina for the Soudal-Quick Step team. Arrived in Italy with the firm intention of winning the general classification with Remco Evenepoel, the Belgian team was disappointed with the abandonment of the world champion. Indeed, a few hours after his victory this Sunday in the second time trial on the program of the event, the wearer of the pink jersey had to give up after being tested positive for the coronavirus.
If the rest of the team had then tested negative, the situation changed completely after an announcement made early this Wednesday through a press release. “After Remco Evenepoel’s positive test on Sunday, a new series of tests was carried out on the riders and staff who remained in Italy, Jan Hirt, Josef Cerny, Louis Vervaeke and Matteo Cattaneo unfortunately could not continue “, specifies the Soudal-Quick Step training. In other words, only Davide Ballerini, Pieter Serry and Ilan Van Wilder will be present at the start of the 11th stage this Wednesday in Camaiore.
Our team is disappointed to announce that four more riders from its #Giro squad have tested positive for Covid-19 and will leave the race.
Read more about it, here: https://t.co/PdOfCZ7QTI
Photo: @GettySport pic.twitter.com/rI4tN6EOy2
— Soudal Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team (@soudalquickstep) May 17, 2023
After Soudal-Quick Step, AG2R-Citroën and Corratec-Selle Italia affected
In the same statement, Belgian team doctor Toon Cruyt confirmed that the situation had deteriorated while doubts remained. “After Remco Evenepoel’s positive result on Sunday evening, we had two more runners who weren’t feeling well on Monday morning but were antigen test negative, he said. Therefore, a PCR test was carried out on the remaining seven riders, the results of which showed all four guys to be positive.
We will continue to monitor and implement our testing protocol on the three runners and staff who remain at the race.. The Soudal-Quick Step team is not the only one affected by the coronavirus. Indeed, the AG2R-Citroën formation confirmed the abandonment of Andrea Vendrame for the same reason. Stefano Gandin, rider of the Corratec-Selle Italia team, has also added his name to the list of riders forced to leave the race for health reasons.