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Giro d'Italia

More riders leave Giro d’Italia with COVID — who will be next?

Eight riders were not at the start Tuesday as stricter health measures and masking requirements are reintroduced to the Italian grand tour.

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COVID-19 is taking out more riders of the Giro d’Italia.

After the blockbuster exit of Remco Evenepoel in the pink jersey on Sunday, a few more are heading toward the exit door following coronavirus tests ahead of Tuesday’s return to racing.

Among them is Sven Erik Bystrøm of Intermarché-Circus-Wanty, who tested positive earlier in the Giro, but who was cleared to race by the medical teams of the UCI and RCS in absence of symptoms and in accordance to the UCI protocol, officials said. The team later decided to pull him out.

“Bystrøm started to develop symptoms on the night of Monday to Tuesday. As a precautionary measure and in order to preserve his health, Sven Erik Bystrøm will return home to rest,” a team statement read.

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Also, Intermarché’s Rein Taaramäe is out with stomach problems, but the Estonian rider tested negative for COVID but his symptoms are too serious to continue this Giro d’Italia, team officials said Tuesday.

Two riders are also out from Israel Premier Tech, including Domenico Pozzovivo and Mads Würtz Schmidt, and neither started Tuesday’s 10th stage.

“Domenico tested positive for COVID this morning. Mads has returned negative tests but hasn’t been feeling well since yesterday and isn’t in a position to start,” a team note read.

Jayco-AlUla’s Callum Scotson also testing positive for COVID following light symptoms, and did not start Tuesday, officials said.

The most recent cases come on the heels of Evenepoel’s high-profile COVID exit as well as the early departure of Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-EasyPost), who also tested positive Sunday.

Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) also did not start in a planned exit following Sunday’s time trial, when he finished fourth on the stage.

The wave of COVID cases that also sent home Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) and others is sending a shockwave across the Giro.

Race officials reinstated mask protocols for staffers and media, and teams are reintroducing stricter health protocols and safety measures that many thought were in the rearview mirror.

The 2023 Giro resumes Tuesday with a transition stage, with Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) donning the pink jersey.

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