Spaniard Juan Ayuso, currently fifth in the Vuelta, on Friday morning became the latest rider to test positive for Covid, but he will remain in the race, his UAE team announced.
“He is asymptomatic and analysing his PCR found he had a very low risk of infectivity, similar to cases such as we saw at this year’s Tour de France,” the team tweeted, quoting their medical director Dr. Adrian Rotunno.
“We have made the decision in consultation with medical representatives from the race organisation and the UCI.
“We are aware of Juan’s clinical picture and are closely monitoring his situation.”
By Wednesday evening, at least 21 riders of the 184 who started on August 19 in Utrecht, in the Netherlands, had dropped out after testing positive.
At the request of the world cycling’s governing body (UCI) the Vuelta has adopted the same health protocols as the Tour de France in July.
There were 17 withdrawals due to Covid in that race.
But some riders, notably Rafal Majka, also of UAE, were allowed to continue after testing positive.
The UCI urged teams to test all riders and staff daily, whether they are vaccinated or not.
Ayuso started Friday’s 13th stage 4 min 53 sec behind leader, Remco Evenepoel of Belgium