Joao Almeida, fourth in the Giro, leaves due to coronavirus


The Portuguese cyclist Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) leaves the Giro d’Italia, of which he was the fourth classified, after testing positive for coronavirus and suffering flu symptoms during the night from Wednesday to Thursday.

“The Portuguese, who suffered flu symptoms overnight, tested positive for COVID-19. All other team members, staff and riders, are negative,” the Emirati team announced before the start of stage 18 of the ‘corsa pink’.

Almeida woke up last night with “persistent sore throat” and tested positive for coronavirus. “We observe strict prevention regulations and, in addition to sanitizing the environments that the team uses every day, we keep athletes in individual rooms to limit very close contacts,” explained the UAE.

“However, despite these precautions, they clearly do not provide 100% protection as we have seen,” said Michele De Grandi, UAE Team Emirates doctor at this 105th Giro d’Italia.

For his part, the team manager, Mauro Gianetti, regretted losing Joao Almeida, who was fourth overall at 1:54 behind the leader Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) after suffering on stage 17 and giving up third place to Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious).

“Obviously we are deeply upset because Joao and the support team were having an excellent race. Our goals were the Giro podium and the white jersey as best youngster and we were fighting to win them,” he said.

“This is bad news, but this is the reality that we have lived every day for two years. We have to accept it and look forward. Now the most important thing is that Joao recovers as soon as possible,” added the director.