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Sunday Giro updates: Rider pulls out due to long COVID symptoms and ‘adult film’ audio plays at the finish

The non-race race report

Photo by: Sirotti

We’re nine stages in to the 21 stage 2021 Giro d’Italia. The race action is heating up—on Sunday, Egan Bernal fought his way top the front on the graveled Campo Felice summit finish, his first ever Grand Tour stage win. Now leading the race in the pink jersey, the Ineos Grenadiers cyclists has a 15 second gap over Remco Evenepoel of Deceuninck-Quick Step.

RELATED: Egan Bernal grabs Giro d’Italia lead after graveled summit finish triumph

Outside of the race itself, there were a few notable events at the ninth stage of the Giro.


In December, Polish rider Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto Soudal) was diagnosed with COVID-19. The 37-year-old cyclist returned to racing in March 2021, racing Strade Bianche followed by two stage races and the Ardennes classics.

Despite his apperent recovery, Marczynski’s team announced on Sunday that he has been forced to withdraw from the Giro d’Italia as he continues to suffer with the after-effects of COVID-19.

“No Tomasz Marczynski at the start of stage 9 Giro d’Italia,” read a Lotto Soudal statement. “Tomasz is struggling with post covid neurologic symptoms: headache, insomnia, dizziness and coordination problems. Team doctor Maarten Meirhaeghe decided to pull him out for safety reasons and further examinations.”

The cyclist tested negative for the virus in all official race testing, but it’s not uncommon for those who have had COVID-19 in the past to suffer from long-term symptoms. Researchers are still in the early stages of understanding “Long COVID” (sometimes known as chronic COVID syndrome (CCS) and long-haul COVID), but a preliminary survey by the UK Office of National Statistics estimated that approximately 10 per cent of people who tested positive for COVID-19 experienced one or more symptoms for longer than 12 weeks.

‘Adult film’ noises

In more lighthearted news, cycling commentator Ned Boulting tweeted that a “porn film” was “inexplicably being played through various Giro sound channels” at the finish line of Sunday’s stage before the race kicked off.

“This is the source of considerable hilarity,” he said, noting that a sound engineer at the finish line was running around trying to locate where the audio was coming from.