Six riders out of the Giro d’Italia after testing positive for COVID-19 turned into nine on Tuesday morning after Israel-Premier Tech announced their GC leader Domenico Pozzovivo wouldn’t take the start of stage 10.
Moments later, Intermarché-Circus-Wanty announced that their rider Sven Erik Bystrøm would also leave the race, despite the rider having earlier been cleared to race on following a positive COVID-19 test. Jayco-AlUla rider Callum Scotson is also a DSN on Tuesday due to COVID-19.
Norwegian rider Bystrøm tested positive for the virus during the first week of the race but was set to continue in the race after his team consulted with the UCI and the chief medical officer of Giro organisers RCS Sport.
During Monday’s rest day, Intermarché-Circus-Wanty confirmed Bystrøm’s continued participation in the race, stating that the 31-year-old was asymptomatic and had undergone several medical tests amid consultation with the UCI and Giro organisers before the decision was taken.
However, ahead of Tuesday’s 196km stage 10, the team stated that Bystrøm had developed symptoms overnight, leading to his withdrawal from the race.
“As a reminder, Bystrøm received the green lights from the medical teams of the UCI & RCS to continue the race after testing positive for COVID, in absence of symptoms and in accordance to the UCI protocol,” Intermarché-Circus-Wanty announced via Twitter.
“However, Sven Erik Bystrøm started to develop symptoms on the night of Monday to Tuesday. As a precautionary measure and in order to preserve his health, he will return home to rest.”
Bystrøm’s teammate Rein Taaramäe is also out the race after the rest day with stomach problems.
Meanwhile, Israel-Premier Tech announced that Pozzovivo “tested positive this morning” with teammate Mads Würtz Schmidt also heading home following an illness. Jayco-AlUla announced that Scotson had “mild symptoms”, taking him out of the race following his positive test.
UCI COVID-19 health protocols eased for the 2023 season, with the worst of the pandemic in the rear-view mirror. Requirements for rider testing were lifted, though measures such as wearing masks and distancing or restricting access in communal space and race starts/finishes remained ‘desirable’ and ‘recommended’.
The UCI protocol also confirmed it would also be no longer mandatory for riders to withdraw from races following a positive test, with decisions taken ‘in a collegial manner’ by doctors from the team, race organisation, and…
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