Giro d'Italia

Jumbo-Visma pull out of Giro d’Italia

Dutch outfit exits Giro d'Italia following COVID-19 positive of its captain Steven Kruijswijk.

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Hours after its star rider returned positive for COVID-19, the entire Jumbo-Visma team pulled out of the Giro d’Italia.

The Dutch team followed its GC captain Steven Kruijswijk, who tested positive for the virus in rest-day protocols, and decided to exit the Italian grand tour Tuesday.

“In our opinion, it’s the most responsible decision with one positive case on the team,” said Jumbo-Visma sport director Addy Engels. “We’ve decided to take the most responsible decision in terms of the health of our riders and our staff.”

The team did not sign on during pre-stage protocol ahead of Tuesday’s 10th stage, and confirmed to Giro officials it would be leaving the race. The decision was made following final-hour calls Tuesday morning between team management and staffers on the ground in Italy.

“It’s not a decision you just make quickly,” Engels said Tuesday. “We took everything into account, the opinions of riders and staff, and we came to this decision. It’s a big thing to withdraw from a race, especially from a race like this. It’s also in the interest of the race to do it like this. Riders have been in close contact with Stevie [Kruijswijk], so it’s the safest thing, not only for our team, but for the continuation of the Giro.”

The decision comes following a wave of COVID-19 positives inside the Giro peloton in rest-day health controls.

The Dutch team has been vigilant in protecting its riders and staffers since the world pandemic swept the peloton. In March, it pulled its teams out of races before the spring calendar was eventually canceled.

Since returning to action, the team has been strictly imposing its “bubble” protocol, and kept its Tour de France squad together for weeks ahead of that race.

Kruijswijk, 33, was forced to miss the Tour due to injury. He finished Sunday’s ninth stage sitting eighth overall at 1:21 back.