‘We are starting to feel unsafe’ - Belgian cyclist Thomas De Gendt on coronavirus threat at Giro d’Italia

De Gendt (centre) has ridden both the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia
De Gendt (centre) has ridden both the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia - (Copyright PA Images)
15:51pm, Thu 15 Oct 2020
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Belgian rider Thomas De Gendt has revealed riders are beginning to feel ‘unsafe’ at the Giro d’Italia following a host of positive coronavirus tests.

Two teams, Mitchelton-Scott and Jumbo-Visma, have already left the race after they returned positive results, with the biggest casualties forced to abandon including Britain’s Simon Yates, Dutch hopeful Steven Kruijswijk and Australia’s Michael Matthews.

Yates was one of the first riders to test positive at the Giro - (Copyright PA Images)

Then on Tuesday, it was confirmed that 24 hours earlier 17 police motorbike escort officers at the Giro-E e-bike event which follows the Giro d’Italia were all quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.

And De Gendt has spoken out about how the turmoil of all these individuals contracting the virus is leading to an eery atmosphere in the peloton.

"It is like it is, the organisation has to know what to do. I’m not here to decide what to do," he told Sporza.

"I have to be honest: my head is not really in the race after the news of the 17 infected police officers.

"Things are going badly in this Giro. We have been discussing with the riders in the team for 20 minutes about whether or not to start because we are starting to feel unsafe.

"The police only accompanied the Giro-E? Yes, yes, yes, yes... That's the explanation they give."

As of Thursday afternoon, 12 stages of the Giro have been completed and there are nine more scheduled before the end of the three-week race on Sunday, October 25.

Portugal’s Joao Almeida currently leads the general classification by 34 seconds from The Netherlands’ Wilco Kelderman.

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