Between two rounds of COVID-19 tests, the Giro d’Italia on Thursday pursued its journey in a 12th stage won by Ecuadoran Jhonatan Narvaez in Cesenatico, the home town of Italian cycling legend Marco Pantani.
However, rumor and concern circulated among the riders in a race which has already been abandoned by two teams — Mitchelton-Scott and Jumbo-Visma.
The International Association of Teams requested and got the new round of tests, without waiting for the next scheduled rest day on Monday.
The EF Education First team even recommended ending the race tomorrow, before the third and final week.
However, the International Cycling Union said that the organizers were committed to tightening the race “bubble” and finishing on Oct. 25 in Milan.
“We’re not threatening to leave,” EF Education First team manager Jonathan Vaughters said, adding that it had been a “suggestion.”
“We prefer to go to the end and we’ll continue if the next round of tests show that it can be done safely,” he said.
On leaving Cesenatico, false rumors circulated that 17 members of the Giro’s police escort had tested positive for COVID-19, after several days in isolation.
The organizers said that the officers in question were dealing with a parallel race, the E-Giro, not rubbing shoulders with the riders.
Belgian Thomas de Gendt, whose physical performance has dropped in the past few days, said that his concerns were shared by part of the peloton.
“I’m not just worried about myself, but also about my family, and I don’t want to run the risk of infecting someone,” De Gendt told Flemish TV.
“It’s extremely uncertain,” race leader Joao Almeida of Portugal said. “I fear that the Giro will not go to Milan. Everyone has their opinion on the matter. For my part, I want to continue, my team, too, to do what I have to do.”
In the race around Cesenatico, Narvaez gave Ineos Grenadiers their third stage win, crossing the line alone after a difficult 204km stage along the rain-soaked roads of Emilia-Romagna.
Narvaez finished 1 minute, 8 seconds ahead of Ukrainian Mark Padun, who held on despite a puncture 24km from the line, with Australian Simon Clarke crossing third at 6:50.
“It’s not a problem for me to race in the rain, in fact I prefer it to the hot weather,” Narvaez said.
The 23-year-old dedicated his first WorldTour win to former Ineos sports director Nico Portal, who died aged 40 this year after a heart attack.
“I learned a lot from him,” Narvaez said.
FIRING BLANKS: West Brom and Burnley had conceded a combined 21 goals in their seven games, but the 47th match of the season was the first to end goalless Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday climbed to sixth place in the English Premier League as Raul Jimenez sealed a 1-0 win at Leeds United on a night West Bromwich Albion and Burnley played out the first goalless draw in the division this season. Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves clinched their third league win of the campaign when Jimenez’s second-half strike deflected in off Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips. The Mexico striker’s third goal of the season made it back-to-back wins for Wolves after they beat Fulham before the international break. “It was a good performance with some aspects to improve. We were better in the second
China wants to unite its 1.4 billion people through soccer, while also using the sport as “a bridge to work with the rest of the world,” Chinese Football Association secretary-general Liu Yi told reporters in an interview published yesterday. Liu spoke about what lies behind the country’s push to become a major soccer power by 2050. Under Chinese President Xi Jinping — who is described by state media as an “avid soccer fan” — the world’s most populous country has grand plans to host and even one day win a World Cup. Liu spoke about “using football to motivate the whole nation.” “Football is
Maybe Kyler Murray will lose a game on the home field of the Dallas Cowboys one of these days. It was not going to be on Monday, when the Arizona quarterback watched the star running back of his hometown team have another night of “fumble-itis.” Murray accounted for three touchdowns in his first game back home as a professional and Ezekiel Elliott set up the visiting team’s first two touchdowns with fumbles as the Cardinals beat the Dallas Cowboys 38-10. The speedy quarterback, who won three high-school championships and a Big 12 title at the home of the Cowboys, improved to 7-0 as
Patrick Mahomes on Monday did not mind taking a back seat to rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the Kansas City Chiefs’ running attack. With the Buffalo Bills working hard to limit deep throws by Mahomes, he gladly kept handing off the ball as Kansas City beat Buffalo 26-17 in a game originally scheduled for Thursday last week. “You know my nature, I want to throw it deep every time. We want to go down and throw these long touchdowns, but if teams are going to play us like this, we’ve got to show we can run the football,” Mahomes said. Mission accomplished. Led by Edwards-Helaire’s