The Covid returns to knock with arrogance on the doors of cycling. To the Tour of Switzerland it is a massacre: the fifth stage saw as many as 16 retired even before the start. Added to the four who for different reasons did not reach the arrival of Novazzano, the short Swiss stage race suddenly found itself with only 123 riders still in the race. Five days ago, in Kusnacht, there were 153 starters. Thirty retired, almost one in five. We are back roughly to the levels of the Paris-Nice of last March, when of the 154 at the start of the first stage, only 59 “survived” to the Côte d’Azur. Not all 20 withdrawn from Switzerland are confirmed cases of Covid: in all the cases, however, the runners recorded symptoms similar to the coronavirus such as fever, respiratory disorders, exhaustion. For the record, the stage, the Ambri-Novazzano, was won by the Russian Vlasov. Out of the game for the surprise general Remco Evenepoel, who reached the finish line of 2’12 “.
Covid, all Jumbo-Visma out in Switzerland. DS Zeeman: “Worried about the Tour”
In Switzerland it was the one who did the most shopping Jumbo-Visma: four positives and a block retirement for all seven riders, including Kuss, Dennis, Gesink, all candidates for a jersey in the Tour de France. Also out are three DSMs, two Bahrains and above all the captain of the Ineos Adam Yates, possible captain of the English team at the Grande Boucle. What is happening? Heard from the Dutch portal Wielerflitsthe Jumbo ds Merijn Zeeman expressed all his concern: “The contagion in our team was very fast: four riders found themselves positive and we decided to leave the race as a block. I think the fear has returned to the group. During the Tour there will be tests in the days of rest and those who test positive must go home. A nightmare scenario for any team: at any moment you may have to pack your bags. We have been preparing for the Tour for months “. The Tour de France will start on 1 July from Copenhagen. The first day of rest and testing will be Monday 4 July, when the riders will return to France with some charter flights from Denmark. The Giro d’Italia, in its three weeks, recorded two cases of riders infected with Covid, both in the third week, the Ecuadorian Jonathan Caicedo and the Portuguese Joao Almeida.