Simon Yates withdraws from Vuelta a Espana after testing positive for Covid

Simon Yates waves as he arrives to take the start of the 5th stage

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Simon Yates has left the Vuelta a Espana after testing positive for Covid.

The British rider and BikeExchange-Jayco leader was fifth in the standings and poised to challenge for the podium.

It is the second time Yates, the 2018 Vuelta a Espana champion, has experienced a Grand Tour departure due to Covid after exiting the 2020 Giro d’Italia for the same reason.

The 30-year-old experienced mild symptoms overnight and subsequently returned a positive test this morning, ending his hopes of success in this year’s race.

The withdrawal is also a blow for his team with the hope of securing UCI ranking points to stave off relegation from the World Tour for the Australian team.

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Simon Yates of BikeExchange-Jayco crosses the finish line of stage 10 of the 2022 edition of the Vuelta a Espana

Despite being the first overall contender to succumb to the virus, Yates is the 16th rider to test positive in this year’s race.

BikeExchange-Jayco confirmed further testing will be taken to ensure the safety of its other riders and staff members.

“During the night our rider Simon Yates had some COVID-19 symptoms with a light fever and body aches. We carried out a COVID-19 test this morning and unfortunately, he has returned a positive test result, and will therefore not be taking to the start line of today’s 11th stage, with rider health and wellbeing our priority,” team doctor Dani Castillo said.

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