Drama in the Giro d’Italia. A few hours after winning the ninth segment and wearing the pink jersey again, Ramko Abenpol had to retire. The Belgian rider announced this evening (Sunday) that he was found positive for Corona in a routine test and will not be able to continue to defend his lead.
In a message he sent on social media, Ebenpaul stated: “I have to leave the Giro with regret. My experience here was very special and I was looking forward to completing the next two weeks. I cannot thank enough the professional team and the riders who sacrificed a lot during the preparations for the Giro. I am still very proud to leave The Giro with two victories and 4 days in the pink jersey.”
Abenfoal, the big favorite to win the Giro, led by 45 seconds over Geirnet Thomas and 47 seconds over Roglic. Now following the retirement of Ebenpaul, Thomas is expected to wear the pink jersey in the 10th section that will take place on Tuesday.
Ebenpaul is not the first rider to withdraw from the Giro because of Corona. Filippo Gana and Rigoberto Oran also tested positive for the virus. Three Yombo-Visma riders: Jos van Emden, Tobias Foss and Robert Hassink were replaced before the start of the race due to Corona.
This is the first time since 1999 that a rider leaves the Giro while wearing the pink jersey. In 1999 Marco Fanatani dominated the race until he failed a drug test and was thrown two stages before the end of the Giro.
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