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Sport Giro d'Italia cycling race thrown into chaos by coronavirus

15:46  13 october  2020
15:46  13 october  2020 Source:   ap.org

Cycling's Giro 'a message of hope' in strange times for Italy

  Cycling's Giro 'a message of hope' in strange times for Italy A mouthwatering Giro d'Italia bursts into life with a time-trial around Palermo on Saturday marking the start of 3497km of racing across the valleys and mountains, from the south of the country to the north, culminating in front of the Duomo cathedral in Milan on October 25. Originally scheduled to start in Budapest in May but rescheduled due to the pandemic, the Sicilian start provides a tantalising appetiser for the 102nd edition of the three week bike race. It takes in the first four stages and includes a volcanic finish on the slopes of Mount Etna.

The Giro d ’ Italia was thrown into chaos Tuesday when two full teams, another overall contender and one more elite rider withdrew from the cycling race following a series of positive tests for the coronavirus . The Mitchelton-Scott and Jumbo-Visma teams left the race before Stage 10.

The Giro d ' Italia was thrown into turmoil when Briton Simon Yates pulled out on Saturday after testing positive for the new coronavirus one week into Yates, one of the pre- race favourites, returned two positive test following Friday's seventh stage after displaying "a very mild" fever during a routine check

ROME (AP) — The Giro d’Italia was thrown into chaos Tuesday when two full teams, another overall contender and one more elite rider withdrew from the cycling race following a series of positive tests for the coronavirus.

Steven Kruijswijk waves prior to the eight stage of the Giro d'Italian cycling race from San Salvo to Roccaraso, Sunday Oct. 11, 2020. All riders and team staff members were tested for COVID-19 over the last 48 hours coinciding with Monday’s rest day with a total of 571 tests performed. Team Jumbo-Visma announced that Steven Kruijswijk came back positive and was withdrawn. (Gian Mattia D'Alberto/LaPresse via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Steven Kruijswijk waves prior to the eight stage of the Giro d'Italian cycling race from San Salvo to Roccaraso, Sunday Oct. 11, 2020. All riders and team staff members were tested for COVID-19 over the last 48 hours coinciding with Monday’s rest day with a total of 571 tests performed. Team Jumbo-Visma announced that Steven Kruijswijk came back positive and was withdrawn. (Gian Mattia D'Alberto/LaPresse via AP) Members of the Mitchelton Scott cycling team pose prior to the eight stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling from Giovinazzo to Vieste, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Mitchelton-Scott team withdrew before Stage 10 after four of its staff members tested positive. That came after Mitchelton-Scott team leader Simon Yates withdrew before Saturday’s eighth stage after also contracting COVID-19. (Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Members of the Mitchelton Scott cycling team pose prior to the eight stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling from Giovinazzo to Vieste, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Mitchelton-Scott team withdrew before Stage 10 after four of its staff members tested positive. That came after Mitchelton-Scott team leader Simon Yates withdrew before Saturday’s eighth stage after also contracting COVID-19. (Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP)

The Mitchelton-Scott and Jumbo-Visma teams left the race before Stage 10.

Ganna pink with delight after taking first Giro d'Italia stage

  Ganna pink with delight after taking first Giro d'Italia stage World champion Filippo Ganna produced a flying performance on Saturday to win the Giro d'Italia's opening day time-trial in Palermo and claim the 21-day race's first pink jersey as overall leader. On his first Grand Tour former track specialist Ganna was the man to beat Saturday after winning the individual world time-trial title a week ago. Ganna completed the slightly downhill 15.1km in a furious 15min 24sec, or at an average speed of 58.831km/h, just slightly outside the Giro stage speed record set almost 20 years ago in Pescara by Rik Verbrugghe.

GIOVINAZZO, Italy (Reuters) - The Giro d ' Italia was thrown into turmoil when Briton Simon Yates pulled out on Saturday after testing positive for the new coronavirus one week into the three-week race . Yates, one of the pre- race favourites, returned two positive test following Friday's seventh stage

Race organisers have confirmed that the Giro d ’ Italia has been postponed due to the coronavirus until further notice. Italy is in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic which has so far killed more than 1,000 people in the country and prompted the government into restricting movement until at least

Four Mitchelton-Scott staff members tested positive. That came after Mitchelton-Scott team leader Simon Yates withdrew before Saturday’s eighth stage after also contracting COVID-19.

Dutch contender Steven Kruijswijk of Jumbo-Visma and rider Michael Matthews of Team Sunweb also tested positive amid 571 exams for all riders and staff members coinciding with Monday’s rest day.

Steven Kruijswijk adjusts his face mask prior to the eight stage of the Giro d'Italian cycling race from San Salvo to Roccaraso, Sunday Oct. 11, 2020. All riders and team staff members were tested for COVID-19 over the last 48 hours coinciding with Monday’s rest day with a total of 571 tests performed. Team Jumbo-Visma announced that Steven Kruijswijk came back positive and was withdrawn. (Marco Alpozzi/LaPresse via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Steven Kruijswijk adjusts his face mask prior to the eight stage of the Giro d'Italian cycling race from San Salvo to Roccaraso, Sunday Oct. 11, 2020. All riders and team staff members were tested for COVID-19 over the last 48 hours coinciding with Monday’s rest day with a total of 571 tests performed. Team Jumbo-Visma announced that Steven Kruijswijk came back positive and was withdrawn. (Marco Alpozzi/LaPresse via AP)

Kruijswijk and Matthews were withdrawn from the event.

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This year's Giro d ' Italia has a star-studded field that includes Peter Sagan, Vincenzo Nibali and Simon Yates. Cyclingnews will have complete live coverage from the Giro There was a distinct shift in the Giro d ' Italia as the race headed to the spur of Italy's boot, with the coronavirus claiming pre- race

Calendar of coronavirus race cancellations. Even races further down the calendar began to drop, such as Circuit de la Sarthe, Tour de Bretagne, Tour de Normandie. The Giro d ' Italia is the biggest victim so far. Cyclingnews will update this list of races with the cancellations as they are announced.

Then Jumbo-Visma announced minutes before the stage started that it was withdrawing the rest of its team, too. Still, the stage started with the 20 remaining teams and 145 remaining riders.

Slovakia's Peter Sagan looks up prior to the tenth stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race from Lanciano to Tortoreto, Italy, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. The Giro d’Italia cycling race has been thrown into chaos with two full teams and two elite riders withdrawing from the race following a series of positive tests for the coronavirus. (Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Slovakia's Peter Sagan looks up prior to the tenth stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race from Lanciano to Tortoreto, Italy, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. The Giro d’Italia cycling race has been thrown into chaos with two full teams and two elite riders withdrawing from the race following a series of positive tests for the coronavirus. (Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP)

“We all have been in contact with (Kruijswijk) for the past days,” Jumbo-Visma sports director Addy Engels told RAI state TV. “So the risk of passing it through to someone else has been there for several days. We are not going to keep taking the risk.”

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 5, 2020 file photo, Britain's Simon Yates looks down after completing the third stage of the Giro d'Italia, tour of Italy cycling race from Enna to Etna, Sicily. Overall contender Simon Yates has withdrawn from the Giro d’Italia after testing positive for the coronavirus, his Mitchelton-Scott team announced before the eighth stage, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. (Marco Alpozzi/LaPresse via AP) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 5, 2020 file photo, Britain's Simon Yates looks down after completing the third stage of the Giro d'Italia, tour of Italy cycling race from Enna to Etna, Sicily. Overall contender Simon Yates has withdrawn from the Giro d’Italia after testing positive for the coronavirus, his Mitchelton-Scott team announced before the eighth stage, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. (Marco Alpozzi/LaPresse via AP)

In addition, one staff member for the Ineos Grenadiers team and one staff member for AG2R-La Mondiale came back positive and were put into isolation.

Almeida adds to Giro lead as Ganna wins time trial

  Almeida adds to Giro lead as Ganna wins time trial VALDOBBIADENE, Italy (AP) — Portuguese rider João Almeida increased his grip on the pink jersey in the hilly 14th-stage time trial of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday, while recently crowned world champion Filippo Ganna claimed his third victory in this year’s race. The 22-year-old Almeida is riding the first Grand Tour of his career and has held the lead since a strong effort up Mount Etna in Stage 3. Only one more week of racing remains before the race ends in Milan next weekend with another individual time trial -- although the final week is filled with grueling climbs through northern Italy and Almeida himself has acknowledged that he has no idea how his body will react to

Italy's biggest cycling event, the Giro d ' Italia , has been postponed after Hungary, the Set to start on May 9 in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, the race was set for three stages in the nation In a statement, organisers said: "In response to the spread of the coronavirus the Hungarian government

The start of the Giro d ' Italia in Hungary has been cancelled, according to a statement released by the "Given the national and international situation, RCS Sport announces that the date of the Giro A number of spring races have also been cancelled across Europe, including Italian classics Strade

Giro director Mauro Vegni has suggested that the race won’t have a winner if it doesn’t finish as planned in Milan on Oct. 25. The race was already rescheduled from its usual May slot because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This morning, all of the teams with positive cases were given new, rapid tests and we’ll do that again tomorrow,” Vegni said. “We’ve performed nearly 1,500 tests and frankly it’s impossible to do more than that.

“The goal for everyone is still to reach Milan.”

Italy has been hovering around 5,000 new coronavirus cases per day, prompting the government to consider more restrictions after making masks mandatory outdoors last week.

Stage 10 of the Giro was being raced in the central Abruzzo region, over a 177-kilometer (110-mile) leg from Lanciano to Tortoreto.

Mitchelton-Scott general manager Brent Copeland said the team's positives came back after a third round of tests in three days.

Britain's Simon Yates wears a face mask prior to the third stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race from Enna to Etna, Monday Oct. 5, 2020. Overall contender Simon Yates has withdrawn from the Giro d’Italia after testing positive for the coronavirus, his Mitchelton-Scott team announced before the eighth stage, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. (Marco Alpozzi/LaPresse via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Britain's Simon Yates wears a face mask prior to the third stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race from Enna to Etna, Monday Oct. 5, 2020. Overall contender Simon Yates has withdrawn from the Giro d’Italia after testing positive for the coronavirus, his Mitchelton-Scott team announced before the eighth stage, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. (Marco Alpozzi/LaPresse via AP)

“As a social responsibility to our riders and staff, the peloton and the race organization we have made the clear decision to withdraw,” Copeland said. “Thankfully those impacted remain asymptomatic or with mild symptoms. ... We are now focused on safely transporting them to areas where they are most comfortable to conduct a period of quarantine."

Vuelta hopes to emulate Tour success with zero infections

  Vuelta hopes to emulate Tour success with zero infections BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The Spanish Vuelta cycling race starts on Tuesday amid tight health restrictions in the hopes of avoiding the coronavirus infections that have knocked some riders, including top contenders, out of the Giro d’Italia. Primoz Roglic is back to defend his title weeks after he lost the Tour de France on the final competitive stage. Two-time champion Chris Froome will be his main challenger in his final grand tour for Ineos, formerly Team Sky, before he joins Israel Start-Up Nation next season. Thibaut Pinot, Alejandro Valverde and Johan Esteban Chaves are also among the contenders.

The Giro thus gets underway with 15km individual time trial that brings riders downhill from the Norman-Byzantine cathedral at Monreale into the centre of Palermo, where all eyes will be on home favourite The Giro d ' Italia is expected to have an evening finish just before the autumn evening falls over Milan.

2020 Giro d ’ Italia LIVE STREAM. Yates out of Giro d ’ Italia after testing positive for COVID-19. Demare powers to hat-trick of stage victories at the Giro .

Joao Almeida celebrates on the podium after retaining  the overall leader's pink jersey at the end of the ninth stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race from San Salvo to Roccaraso, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Joao Almeida celebrates on the podium after retaining the overall leader's pink jersey at the end of the ninth stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race from San Salvo to Roccaraso, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP)

Kruijswijk stood 11th overall, 1 minute, 24 seconds behind race leader João Almeida. He's had three career top-10 finishes in the Giro.

“Within the team we take a lot of measures to avoid contamination. And I just feel fit. I can’t believe I got it. It is a very big disappointment to get this news," Kruijswijk said. "It is a pity that I have to leave the Giro this way.”

Steven Kruijswijk prior to the eight stage of the Giro d'Italian cycling race from San Salvo to Roccaraso, Sunday Oct. 11, 2020. All riders and team staff members were tested for COVID-19 over the last 48 hours coinciding with Monday’s rest day with a total of 571 tests performed. Team Jumbo-Visma announced that Steven Kruijswijk came back positive and was withdrawn. (Gian Mattia D'Alberto/LaPresse via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Steven Kruijswijk prior to the eight stage of the Giro d'Italian cycling race from San Salvo to Roccaraso, Sunday Oct. 11, 2020. All riders and team staff members were tested for COVID-19 over the last 48 hours coinciding with Monday’s rest day with a total of 571 tests performed. Team Jumbo-Visma announced that Steven Kruijswijk came back positive and was withdrawn. (Gian Mattia D'Alberto/LaPresse via AP)

Matthews was not in overall contention — he was nearly an hour behind Almeida — but he is a punchy rider and strong sprinter who was aiming for stage victories. The Australian rider has won a total of eight stages in the three Grand Tours — the Giro (2), Tour de France (3) and Spanish Vuelta (3).

Sunweb said Matthews “is currently asymptomatic, feels healthy and after receiving the results early this morning, he is now in quarantine.” The team added that all of its other riders and staff members returned negative tests.

Matthews had three top-five finishes in this year’s race, including a second-place result in Stage 6 behind Arnaud Démare.

“Disappointed that this is the way the Giro ends for me after a fantastic first week with the team," Matthews wrote on Twitter. "For now, I’ll begin my isolation and monitor things closely. Hoping to make a full recovery and get back racing soon.”

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