Covid cases at the Vuelta continued to rise on Tuesday, with Ineos announcing that it had pulled Ethan Hayter out of the race after testing positive.
“In line with team and UCI protocol, Ethan Hayter has withdrawn from the Vuelta a Espana this morning after testing positive in a lateral flow test,” Ineos tweeted.
Hayter was kicked out when the race resumed after a rest day in one of his specialties, the time trial. The 23-year-old Londoner briefly led the young rider category early on in Vuelta.
Since the start of the Vuelta in Utrecht on 19 August, 13 of the 21 retirements have been linked to positive tests.
The spread of the virus through Peloton appears to be accelerating, with 10 cases detected between Friday and Tuesday.
On Monday’s rest day, Movistar’s Dane Matthias Norsgaard and Lotto Sudal’s Australian Jarad Drizners resigned after testing positive.
“Testing is still stressing the team, but we have to get over it. If you don’t feel well, you’re not going to race anyway. I think it should be the rule, not the test.” Australian Ben O said. Conner, the climber for the AG2R team who lost Italy’s Andrea Wendramé and fin Jaako Haninen to Covid on Friday.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced on August 9 that the Vuelta will implement the same health protocols as the Tour de France.
The UCI said it “strongly recommends daily control by antigen testing for all team members (riders and staff), whether vaccinated or not.”
In July, 17 riders, including four-time event winner Briton Chris Froome, had to abandon the Tour de France because of Covid-19.