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Sport

EF Pro Cycling team wants to discuss whether to press on with Giro

FILE PHOTO: Cycling - Giro d'Italia - Stage 11 - Porto Sant'Elpidio to Rimini, Italy - October 14, 2020 General view of the action as spectators wearing protective face masks cheer REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

(Reuters) - The EF Pro cycling team says it wants to discuss with organisers and fellow competitors whether it is worth pressing on with the Giro d’Italia following this week’s COVID-19 cases.

The team’s general manager Jonathan Vaughters denied reports that they had asked for the race to be called off but warned that it could become chaotic if there were further positive tests and said race organisers RCS should not push their luck.

Five teams were hit by COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, the first rest day, with two of them pulling out of the three-week grand tour, which finishes in Milan on Oct. 25.

“This is a suggestion, we are not threatening to leave the race,” Vaughters told Eurosport on Thursday.

“When we look at 11 positive tests on the last rest day, that brings you to a 2% positive rate in the race bubble,” he said, adding that the bubble risked being pierced.

“Given the close quarters of hotels, of the peloton and that there is inevitably some interaction between teams in the race, we thought it was our responsibility to ask RCS not to push their luck... it could become chaotic.”

Vaughters said that his team’s suggestion was that everyone should get together to decide on an “end point”.

He said that would mean that “everyone knows when the race is going to end and we know what the risks are for the rest of the race, as opposed to right now where things are sort of unknown.”

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis

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