Four teammates follow world champ Evenepoel out of Giro

·1-min read

Four more riders from the Soudal-Quick-Step team have followed world champion Remco Evenepoel out of the Giro d'Italia after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Soudal-Quick-Step said on Wednesday Jan Hirt, Josef Cerny, Louis Vervaeke and Mattia Cattaneo had to quit the race after contracting the virus.

Evenepoel had withdrawn as Giro leader on Sunday after a positive test.

"After the positive of Remco on Sunday evening, we had two more riders who were feeling unwell on Monday morning, but were negative on antigen tests," team doctor Toon Cruyt said.

"Therefore a PCR test was carried out on the seven remaining riders, the results of which showed that the four guys were positive. We will continue to monitor and implement our testing protocol on the three riders and staff that remain at the race."

In all, 14 riders are out of the Giro after positive coronavirus tests including AG2R rider Andrea Vendrame, who withdrew ahead of Wednesday's 11th stage, and Australian Callum Scotson (Jayvo-AlUla) who pulled out a day earlier.

The rising number of cases prompted organisers to make masks compulsory at the Giro which runs until May 28.