The steady drip of recent COVID-19 cases in the peloton continued on Friday with Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) the latest rider to return a positive test, throwing his imminent Giro d’Italia participation in doubt.
Two cases emerged at Liège-Bastogne-Liège for Jumbo-Visma, forcing the Dutch squad to ground support riders Sam Oomen and Tosh van der Sande at the last minute from their roster for La Doyenne.
Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan) and Henri Vandenabeele (DSM) have all tested positive recently, with Arkea-Samsic’s Warren Barguil also added to the list by his squad on Friday morning.
However, Trek-Segafredo team doctor Nino Daniele said there was a need to keep a perspective on the fresh series of cases, arguing symptoms were generally less serious than before.
After the UCI eased on obligations, testing in the first half of the season for COVID-19 was far patchier in the WorldTour even compared with the December training camps.
Some WorldTour squads continued but one top team staff member, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Cyclingnews at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana that they had stopped altogether for management and riders.
In Barguil’s case, Arkéa-Samsic said on their website that, after his abandon in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Barguil did some extra tests which showed he had tested positive.
“Regarding his participation in the Giro d’Italia, a decision will be taken depending on how his health evolves.”
Trek-Segafredo team doctor Nino Daniele told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad (opens in new tab) that although “we’ll never know how the virus spread”, he had his suspicions about a specific team hotel during the Ardennes Classics where he said “the majority of riders involved” had stayed.
“It’s a large hotel, with many rooms and only two lifts,” he pointed out.
Daniele underlined that the virus had evolved and its symptoms were now much more similar to a “classic flu” bug. The fact that a significant number of people had had three COVID-19 vaccines also helped this, he argued.
“The virus can no longer be compared to the aggressive and dangerous variant that we had to deal with at the height of the pandemic,” Daniele told Het Nieuwsblad.
“The test method has also become much more efficient. The classic rapid test has now been replaced by a test that allows us to check for several viruses at the same time.”
He added that at Trek-Segafredo, riders or staff with symptoms were kept as isolated as…
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at CyclingNews RSS Feed…