We’re Now at Three COVID-19 Cases Among Giro d’Italia Riders

106th giro d'italia 2023 stage 7
Three COVID-19 Cases Among Giro d’Italia RidersNurPhoto - Getty Images

While the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency officially came to an end in the U.S. this week, the Giro d’Italia would like to remind us that the virus isn’t over. Three athletes have now tested positive and taken an early exit from the tour.

French rider Clément Russo left the Giro on Thursday. And Alpecin-Deceuninck rider Nicola Conci as well as Bora-Hansgrohe rider Giovanni Aleotti left before today’s stage.

Team officials have confirmed that the athletes isolated themselves away from team members as soon as they showed symptoms. Each team released statements on social media and wished their athletes the best in recovery.

But unexpectedly dropping athletes changes the whole dynamic of the peloton. Cycling News reports that 23-year-old Aleotti was in the midst of his third Giro d'Italia, and was a key player for GC hopeful Aleksandr Vlasov, who will now have to rely on a reduced support team as he enters the next mountain stages.

And VeloNews reports that these weren’t the only athletes who missed the Giro because of COVID-19 illness. Robert Gesink, Tobias Foss, and Jos van Emden were all unable to start the tour due to positive test results.

Even beyond COVID-19, this tour seems riddled with sickness. Ramon Sinkeldam didn’t start stage 5 due to stomach problems. Also, Rémy Rochas and Paul Lapeira both had to leave the race due to other illnesses.

VeloNews reported that Jumbo–Visma team captain Primož Roglič said at the start of the Giro, “We have to be careful and stay healthy. We might have to go back to some of the safety measures we did before. Not getting sick is the most important thing.”

So far the tour has not imposed official mandates, but if cases continue to rise the way they did in past years, athletes will likely be back in masks and required to social distance.

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