Nikias Arndt and Mark Donovan have both left the race following positive tests. The pair were roommates in Spain and both men are suffering minimal symptoms.
“Unfortunately, roommates Mark Donovan and Nikias Arndt have returned positive COVID tests so will not start La Vuelta 22 today,” the team announced. “Both have minimal to no symptoms and are doing well. We send our best wishes to Mark and Nikias.”
The withdrawals mean that DSM leader Thymen Arensman is down to five support riders for the remaining stages of the race, including Saturday’s summit finish at Colláu Fancuaya. He currently lies 16th overall, 2:14 down on race leader Remco Evenepoel (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl).
The Vuelta will resume on Saturday afternoon with 173 starters. The first COVID-19 case at the race came ahead of stage 5 as Daan Hoole (Trek-Segafredo) left after testing positive.
Since then, Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) has also left the race, while AG2R Citroën lost Andrea Vendrame and Jaakko Hänninen to positive tests on Friday.
Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech), Steff Cras (Lotto Soudal), and Rémy Rochas (Cofidis) are the three other riders to have abandoned the race so far.
Daniel Ostanek is production editor at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired as staff writer. Prior to joining the team, he had written for most major publications in the cycling world, including CyclingWeekly, Rouleur, and CyclingTips.
Daniel has reported from the world’s top races, including the Tour de France and the spring Classics, and has interviewed many of the sport’s biggest stars, including Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, Demi Vollering, and Anna van der Breggen.
As well as original reporting, news and feature writing, and production work, Daniel also runs The Leadout newsletter and oversees How to Watch guides throughout the season. His favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Volta a Portugal, and he rides a Colnago C40.