João Almeida has to leave the Giro d’Italia on Thursday. The number four in the general classification has tested positive for the corona virus.
Manager Mauro Gianetti of UAE Team Emirates, Almeida’s team, confirms the Portuguese’s positive test VeloNews† According to the Italian, his captain has minor symptoms.
“It’s so shit,” Gianetti said. “João was not feeling well last night and this morning, so we did a corona test and it was positive. All other riders and staff members tested negative. It is a shame that João has to leave the Giro, but his health is the most important.”
Almeida was fourth in the general classification with four stages to go, at 1 minute and 54 seconds from rose jersey wearer Richard Carapaz. He took the lead in the youth classification. That jersey now goes to Spaniard Juan Pedro López.
Almeida finished sixth in Giro last year
The 23-year-old Almeida seemed to have lost his chances of winning on Wednesday by losing 1.10 minutes in the seventeenth stage to Carapaz and number two Jai Hindley.
The leader of UAE Team Emirates still had every prospect of a podium place. He was regarded as the best time trialist of all classification riders and the Giro will be concluded on Sunday with a time trial of 17.4 kilometers around Verona.
Almeida started in Giro for the third year in a row. In 2020 he finished fourth and last year he finished sixth.
Thursday is a flat ride. The eighteenth stage starts at 13.45.