Cofidis climber Jesús Herrada will not line up at the rescheduled Vuelta a España when it starts in Irun, in the Basque Country, on Tuesday, following the announcement by his team on Friday that the Spanish rider had tested positive for COVID-19.
The French WorldTour team posted on social media that Herrada had tested positive for the coronavirus following a PCR test performed on Wednesday. The 30-year-old is apparently nevertheless feeling well, and Herrada wrote that he had subsequently tested negative on Friday, but will nevertheless be replaced in the Vuelta squad by Natnael Berhane.
"Jesús Herrada will not be able to take the start of the Vuelta a España," the team wrote. "The PCR test carried out on Wednesday revealed the presence of SARS-coV, even though Jésus is asymptomatic.
"Respecting the UCI health protocols and the 2020 Vuelta, the team has decided to replace Jesús with Natnael Berhane."
Herrada wrote in a separate statement that after his positive test for the coronavirus on Wednesday, he then tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday, but that it was nevertheless recommended that he should stay quarantined for 10 days.
"We live in a time of uncertainty, as shown by my positive and negative in such a short space of time, but we must act responsibly," Herrada wrote, according to Spanish newspaper AS. "For me, it's a real shame not to participate in the Vuelta, as I'd prepared myself at altitude in the last weeks in a specific way."
Herrada won a stage at last year's Vuelta, and was expected to again target stage victories and to try to help team leader Guillaume Martin in his aspirations for the general classification, as he did at this year's Tour de France.
Eritrean rider Berhane will start what will be the third Vuelta of his career, and the 29-year-old's first Grand Tour this season.
Jésus Herrada will not be able to take the start of @lavuelta.The PCR test carried out on Wednesday revealed the presence of Sras-coV even though Jesus is asymptomatic.Respecting UCI health protocols and #LaVuelta20, the team decided to replace @jesushl90 with @Natnaelb2.October 17, 2020
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