No COVID-19 cases reported in Giro d'Italia race bubble after rest day PCR testing

A sign at the Giro d'Italia reminding people to maintain social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic
A sign at the Giro d'Italia reminding people to maintain social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The UCI and RCS Sport have announced that no cases of COVID-19 were detected in PCR testing carried out on the Giro d'Italia race bubble during Tuesday's rest day in Umbria.

On Tuesday evening, the governing body and the race organiser stated that no riders or staff had tested positive for COVID-19 after 600 molecular tests were carried out. 

The samples were analysed at the Centro Diagnostico Italiano in Milan. The announcement to confirm the results had initially not been anticipated until Wednesday morning.

"In accordance with the Giro d'Italia health protocol […] and in compliance with the measures of the Italian Health Ministry, all teams (riders and staff) were tested (COVID-19 testing using PCR tests) on 17 May," read the joint statement.

"A total of 600 tests were carried out: No riders have tested positive for Covid-19. No team staff members have tested positive for Covid-19."

The race bubble at the Giro had already undergone UCI-mandated PCR testing before the Grande Partenza in Turin, while RCS Sport this year introduced two additional rounds of rapid antigen testing during the first week.

"It's nine days [from the start] until the next rest day, so we need to have at least one or even two more tests before then to make sure," race director Mauro Vegni told Cyclingnews before the race began. No coronavirus cases were reported after rapid tests before stages 4 and 9.

Last October's Giro saw Jumbo-Visma and Mitchelton-Scott withdraw from the race after coronavirus cases were confirmed on their teams during PCR testing on the first rest day.

A further round of PCR testing will be performed on the race bubble of the 2021 Giro on the second and final rest day in Cortina next week.

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Barry Ryan
Head of Features

Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation, published by Gill Books.