Former Italian pro Filippo Pozzato is in hospital with pneumonia after contracting COVID-19.
The 40-year-old began to feel unwell on October 22, five days after the conclusion of the 'Ride the Dreamland' series of races that he organised, which included the Giro del Veneto and the all-new Serenissima Gravel.
Earlier this week, his condition deteriorated to the point that he was admitted to the respiratory ward of the San Bortolo hospital in Vincenza.
"I started to feel bad with a bit of a fever: [a temperature of] 37 and a half, then 38. I immediately do the swab, it's COVID. Then I was 39 and a half for almost 10 days," Pozzato explained to Tuttobici.
"Three days ago, my fever went away, but my oxygen saturation plummeted, I went down to 87, then 86, I had oxygen tanks at home, it went to 83, I couldn't even stand up and they brought me here."
Pozzatto is receiving a supplemental oxygen supply but is not on a ventilator at the moment, although that could be the case if his situation deteriorates further.
"I have severe pneumonia. I am attached to oxygen to open my bronchi, but if I get worse they will put the mask on me," he said.
"Everyone says that COVID looks like bullshit... but when you take it you understand that it is not at all. I hope to get over this very bad moment as soon as possible. Guys, don't mess with fire, I've already burned myself."
Pozzato revealed he has not been vaccinated against COVID-19. In fact, he had booked his first dose for October 25, by which point he had already tested positive.
The former Milan-San Remo champion suggested that his 'Ride the Dreamland' duties meant he didn't get the vaccine sooner, but he also revealed he thought he was 'strong' enough not to need it.
"Why hadn't I been vaccinated before? Because I have always felt strong, I have been among people who had COVID and nothing had ever happened to me. I was an idiot, and I have taken a good beating."
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