Vincenzo Nibali drops out of Vuelta a Andalucia, following being positive for COVID-19. This is definitely heartbreaking news as new members of Astana Qazaqstan were going to debut with Nibali this week. Those teammates included Miguel Angel Lopez, Alexey Lutsenko, Valerio Conte.
The Italian Professional will be spending his isolation in Switzerland. As hopes are that everything will be well, Vincenzo Nibali will soon be back on his feet.
🇪🇸 MEDICAL: @VCANDALUCIA
Unfortunately, @vincenzonibali will be forced to change his racing program and to miss Vuelta a Andalucía due to an asymptomatic COVID-19. The team will communicate about his new racing program later.#AstanaQazaqstanTeam
— Astana Qazaqstan Team (@AstanaQazTeam) February 14, 2022
Above is the official statement made by Astana Qazaqstan in regards to Vincenzo Nibali.
Getting back to racing will be seemingly difficult for Nibali as he will have to go through some tests. There are many UCI regulations at play here, he will have to abide by the rules, heart, and lung checkups are mandatory, only then will he be allowed to race again.
Vincenzo Nibali is not the only athlete that has been affected by the deadly pandemic, many other athletes including Toms Skujiņš (Trek-Segafredo) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) withdrew from their respective racing schedules.
Although there has been mass vaccination, the Omicron COVID-19 variant has not taken pity. As the cases begin to rise, the race schedules have been disturbed, athletes have been affected, sometimes even during the race. In recent news, both Jumbo-Visma and BikeExchange-Jayco will not be attending the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, this comes after a surge of new corona cases.
We hope that things go back to normal once again, and race schedules also normalize. Only precautions and extreme safety measures will pave the path to a safe future.
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Featured Image Via Instagram/vincenzonibali