Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ) is the latest rider to be forced to abandon the Vuelta a España due to illness. However the British rider has tested negative for Covid-19.
Earlier this morning, Groupama-FDJ released a brief statement (opens in new tab) on social media confirming that Stewart has had to abandon the Spanish Grand Tour.
The statement read: “Sick in the night (negative Covid test), Jake Stewart will not start the 8th stage of the Vuelta.”
Prior to abandoning the race, Stewart had shown some promising signs of just what he’s capable of in his first ever Grand Tour appearance. The Briton impressed on stage five on the slopes of Alto del Vivero, helping his teammate Rudy Molard into the red jersey. Despite his best efforts, the young rider was helpless to prevent a rampaging Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) from storming to victory in Bilbao.
Just two weeks ago, the promising young talent won his first ever race at the Tour de l’Ain and will certainly bounce back in future races.
Meanwhile three more riders were forced to abandon the Vuelta a España this morning after returning positive tests for Coronavirus. The number of withdrawals due to the virus now stands at seven.
Team DSM riders Nikias Arndt and Mark Donovan both returned positive tests (opens in new tab) along with Anthony Delaplace (Arkéa-Samsic).
“Unfortunately, roommates Mark Donovan and Nikias Arndt have returned positive COVID tests so will not start La Vuelta 22 today,” Team DSM said.
“Both have minimal to no symptoms and are doing well. We send our best wishes to Mark and Nikias.”
The first positive Covid-19 case at the Vuelta was Daan Hoole (Trek-Segafredo). Jan Hirt of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert would follow before Jaakko Hänninen and Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroën) tested positive on Friday.
Covid-19 protocols remain in place at the race with current leader Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) pictured wearing a red face mask along with his red jersey.
Stage eight sees the riders tackle the first of two extremely challenging days in the mountains of Asturias. The peloton faces two summit finishes beginning with the Collau Fancuaya climb this afternoon.