Fernando Gaviria is diagnosed with COVID-19 … again.
The Colombian sprinter will not race at the UAE Tour later this week after testing positive for the virus in a pre-travel COVID test.
It is the third time that Gaviria has had coronavirus since the pandemic began over two years ago. Gaviria was one of several COVID-19 positives at the 2020 UAE Tour — which was canceled due to an outbreak of the virus — and was reinfected with it in October of the same year.
Though he managed to avoid it in 2021, the virus has gotten him again after a winning week at the Tour of Oman, where he claimed two stage victories.
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“As per the pre-race protocol, Gaviria underwent a PCR test which returned a positive result while at home in Monaco before departing to the UAE Tour,” team doctor Adrian Rotunno said.
“He is feeling well and undergoing his mandatory isolation period and will aim to return to training following further tests.”
The number of people getting reinfected with COVID-19 has surged across the world with the latest wave of the omicron variant. The highly infectious variant has also made a serious dent in the peloton with a large number of riders being forced to reschedule their racing plans due to catching it or being in close contact with someone who has it.
While Gaviria will have to miss his team’s home race, Tadej Pogačar is set to make his season debut in the UAE after recovering from the virus. Pogačar caught it during a training camp earlier this month but has recovered and since returned to training.
German sprinter Pascal Ackermann will now replace Gaviria at the UAE Tour. Ackermann started his season at the Mallorca Challenge in January and recently raced at the Étoile de Bessèges.
— @UAE-TeamEmirates (@TeamEmiratesUAE) February 17, 2022