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Vuelta a Espana

Ethan Hayter out of Vuelta a España with COVID-19

So far, 14 riders have abandoned the Vuelta a España after catching COVID.

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Ethan Hayter is the latest rider to see their Vuelta a España hopes dashed by COVID-19.

Ineos Grenadiers confirmed Tuesday morning that the 23-year-old, who was making his grand tour debut at the Vuelta, will not start the stage 10 time trial after returning a positive coronavirus test.

Hayter had been enjoying a solid debut at the Spanish race, taking seventh on the uphill finish on stage four. A British national champion against the clock, he was among the favorites in Tuesday’s time trial.

“In line with team and UCI protocols Ethan Hayter has this morning withdrawn from the Vuelta a España after returning a positive lateral flow test,” the team wrote on social media Tuesday morning.

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Hayter is the first member of the Ineos Grenadiers squad to leave the race early. Despite some disappointing performances from GC leader Richard Carapaz, the team is still in the overall fight with Carlos Rodriguez currently in fourth place at 2:33 behind the red jersey of Remco Evenepoel.

There have been a string of positive COVID-19 cases over the first week. Mathias Norsgaard (Movistar), Jose Herrada (Cofidis), and Harry Sweeny and Jarrad Drizners (both Lotto Soudal) all tested positive over the rest day.

Of the 21 abandons in the Vuelta a España so far, 12 of them have been as a result of COVID-19. Meanwhile, Burgos BH’s Manuel Peñalver didn’t start the race due to catching coronavirus.