More than 500 coronavirus tests conducted at the Giro d’Italia have come back negative, race organiser RCS has confirmed.
The saliva antigen tests were introduced at the Italian race after eight people, including Michael Matthews and Steven Kruijswijk, were found to be positive for the virus on the first rest day on Monday.
A total of 512 riders and team staff members were swabbed as part of the controls, with each one returning a negative result.
Race director Mauro Vegni was forced to defend the race’s coronavirus protocols after EF Pro Cycling sent a letter to the organiser earlier this week asking for the race to be halted after Sunday’s stage. EF Pro Cycling’s request was rejected by the UCI.
“We need to have the courage to go on: not just in cycling, we need to go on as a community. We have to fight with our heads held high, looking ahead,” said Vegni.
Jumbo-Visma’s Jos van Emden also criticised RCS’ failure to secure a “bubble” around the riders after his team abandoned the race in the wake of Kruijswijk’s positive. The Dutchman said riders and team members had been forced to share hotel buffets with people outside of race’s coronavirus bubble.
In a joint statement with the UCI, RCS said additional PCR tests would be conducted on the second rest day this Monday.
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