Giro d’Italia and Evenepoel are out due to Covid: why
In cycling, too, the world association has abolished all protocols introduced in 2020, but the teams continue to carry out the antigen tests independently and without obligation for their own safety
Remco Evenepoel has to say goodbye to the 2023 Giro d’Italia because he had a positive Covid test the day he flew the Savignano sul Rubicone-Cesena time trial at a speed of 50.724 km/h in the rain. Here’s why.
The Covid era is over and the WHO (World Health Organization) had declared the coronavirus pandemic, which had caused seven million deaths worldwide, to be over in early May, a few days before the start of the Pink Race. Degraded to an epidemic without the need for further measures for the citizen: apart from the emergency room and the retirement homes, where masks are still mandatory. In cycling, too, the world governing body lifted all protocols put in place in 2020, when cycling was among the first major sports to resume operations in August. The antigen tests were introduced as early as Giro 2020 as a preview for immediate on-site screening and, in cases of doubt or positivity, were flanked by molecular PCR tests. The pink race had paved the way. In 2020, 2021 and 2022, teams, organizers and runners have joined forces in a gigantic effort for safety. Coaches, flagships and hotel rooms are disinfected by special facilities.
But now it was just a memory, the UCI had abolished all testing requirements and even the masks disappeared from racing. There is no longer even the quarantine in the positivity case. However, for their own safety, the teams continued to perform antigen testing. Tests they carry out in complete autonomy, free from the obligation to communicate the results to both the UCI and the organizers. You do it yourself and don’t have to answer to anyone. Antigen checks that deliver the result in just a few minutes. It is one of those that removes Evenepoel from the pink race. The Giro thanked him in a tweet and gave him an appointment for 2024.
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