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Team Ineos pulls riders from Italian national championship after one tests positive for COVID-19

Leonardo Basso returned positive test yesterday despite being asymptomatic

Italy's elite men’s road championship is being raced today without any riders from Team Ineos after the UCI WorldTour outfit announced yesterday that one of its riders, Leonardo Basso, had tested positive for the coronavirus.

The team said that the 26 year old “has been and remains asymptomatic” and that the withdrawal of its three other Italian riders who had been due to ride the race had been undertaken “as a precautionary measure in line with Covid protocols.”

In a statement released yesterday, Team Ineos said: “Apart from a visit for treatment on his knee at his local medical centre eight days ago, Leonardo has been at home in Asolo with his girlfriend and training alone over the last 10 days.

“He tested negative on Tuesday. He has remained at home and did not join the team at their hotel in recent days.

“However, he carried out the time trial recon with Filippo  Ganna yesterday [Friday] and went on a training ride with him, Salvatore Puccio and Gianni Moscon this morning [Saturday].

“In line with protocols all four riders will now self-isolate for 14 days.”

The team added: “Four staff members will also self-isolate as they are considered secondary contacts.

“Although they have been in contact with the riders wearing masks, observing social distancing and other protocols the team believes this to be a prudent precaution.

“We will also support Leo with any contact tracing with any friends and family as appropriate over the coming period.”

Today’s race covers 253.8km from Bassano del Grappa to Cittadella in the Veneto region in the north east of the country.

Ganna, who finished third in the individual time trial in the world championships in Harrogate last September, successfully defended his Italian national title on Friday.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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