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COVID-19 continues to devastate Vuelta peloton as Simon Yates and Pavel Sivakov abandon

At the midway point the race is 32 riders fewer

Photo by: Sirotti

On Wednesday’s midway point of the 77th Vuelta a España, the day after the time trial that saw Simon Yates jumped up to fifth and Pavel Sivakov climb to 9th, both riders withdrew from the race following positive COVID-19 tests. They were two of five riders who did not start on Wednesday due to returning positive tests. In the 2020 Giro d’Italia Yates didn’t start Stage 8 after a COVID-19 positive.

Eight riders didn’t start Tuesday’s time trial, some with COVID-19, including double stage winner Sam Bennett and Sivakov’s teammate Ethan Hayter. Sivakov was fifth in the chrono and Yates came seventh.

Altogether 32 riders have abandoned from the 182 that started in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on August 19. Not all of these withdrawals have been for COVID-19 positives–Michael Woods crashed out on Stage 3.

Nearly 20 riders had to leave the Tour de France with COVID-19 infections.

COVID laid waste to June’s Tour de Suisse, with the four teams leaving the race and the yellow jersey Alexandr Vlasov having to quit with the infection.

João Almeida, currently sixth in the Vuelta, had to abandon the Giro d’Italia when he was in fourth place and leading the young rider category. Poor Yates climbed off his bike with a persistent knee problem on Stage 17.

In total 27 riders left this year’s Giro d’Italia for injuries and illness and 41 departed from the Tour de France.