Total chaos at the Tour de Suisse. Three teams decided to withdraw before the start of the 6th stage between Locarno and Moosalp. The coronavirus strikes again heavily. The race continues nonetheless. According to the Tour de Suisse website, Bahrain (Stephen Williams), Alpecin (Silvan Dillier) and UAE Teams (Hirschi, who had previously announced his retirement from Covid-19) have decided not to start. in Leventine this Friday. For their part, the Israel Premier Tech and Education EF teams withdrew several riders affected by the Covid-19. The management of the race in agreement with the representatives of the UCI and the teams decided to continue the race.
The leader of the race, the Russian Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora) also had to give up after undergoing a positive control at the Covid-19. Vlasov will therefore not succeed in the double Tour de Romandie – Tour de Suisse, which has not been held since 1994 by the Vaudois Pascal Richard. Britain’s Thomas Pidcock of the Ineos team also left the race. The first place in the general classification is now occupied by the Dane Jakob Fuglsang with a second ahead of the Welshman Geraint Thomas of the Ineos team after the abandonment of Aleksandr Vlasov.
Also read: Russian victory on the Tour de Romandie
The Swiss affected
On the Swiss side, Marc Hirschi will not start the 6th stage of the Tour de Suisse this Friday. The Bernese was tested positive for coronavirus and therefore leaves the national loop before the 1st stage of the mountain. His compatriot and roommate Joel Suter was also invited to leave the Tour de Suisse. Reto Hollenstein was also removed from the race by his team Israel.
The coronavirus has not spared the Swiss race for two days. At least nine riders tested positive on the Covid-19 on Thursday, and the Dutch team Jumbo-Visma withdrew as a whole. Hirschi is the first Swiss rider to be affected by coronavirus in this edition. With the exception of Hirschi, all riders and team members passed negative tests, the UAE Emirates team reports. Suter is considered a high-risk contact case and has been removed from the Tour of Switzerland as a precaution. Hirschi had only mild symptoms, according to UAE Emirates.
Also read: Fabian Cancellara: “The goal is to make Switzerland a great cycling nation”
On Thursday, the Bernese had joined Novazzano with a minute’s delay on the winner of the stage and new leader, the Russian Aleksandr Vlasov while the route of the stage was drawn for him. In the overall standings, Hirschi was in 12th place with a lead of 1’03 ” over the leader. For his part, Suter, who is playing his first season at this level, was more than an hour away from the overall standings. With Gino Mäder the day before, he is one of the second best Swiss riders to have to declare a ski pass. For the Bernese from Bahrain, these were stomach and intestinal problems.
An earlier version of this article erroneously indicated the withdrawal of five teams: two of them in fact withdrew only a portion of their riders. The title and text have been changed to reflect this situation.
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