De Gendt explodes against the Giro after the cases of COVID-19 and Mauro Vegni responds

Speaking to Sporza, the Belgian cyclist was very critical of the organization of the Corsa Rosa. Giro director: "You should be careful what you say."


Thomas de Gendt has been one of the most critical voices of the Giro d'Italia after eight positives were discovered in the peloton last Tuesday, causing the Mitchelton-Scott and Jumbo-Visma to abandon the test.

In statements to Sporza before the twelfth stage of the race in Cesenatico, the Belgian said he is worried and more after it was revealed that 17 Giro-E policemen tested positive for coronavirus. "If I'm honest, my head is not really focused on the races after knowing that there have been 17 infected police officers. The Giro is going in the wrong direction. The riders have discussed for 20 minutes whether or not to start the stage today because we started to feel insecure.

De Gendt also confessed that in recent days he has heard several runners cough and, although it may be colds, he said he was restless. "That the infected policemen accompanied the Giro-E? Yes, yes, yes, yes ... that's what they say (the Giro d'Italia released a statement affirming it). We have already had more than 10 cases and yesterday I heard coughing from several cyclists. It is true that it is the season of colds, but in the end it is impossible to concentrate on the race "

The Belgian also made clear the division of opinions in the peloton to continue or not with the race, stating that he would be in favor of not doing so to avoid possible risks for him and his family. "There are runners who would rather not start and others who would. We are all free to do so. I am one of those who would prefer not to start but each one chooses for himself. If you stop, it's over. But if you continue in that direction it may be Too late. What if I feel insecure? We're going in the wrong direction. It's not just for me, but for my family too. "

Finally, De Gendt said that he is thinking of abandoning the race and was disappointed with the lack of control in the Giro that there was in the Tour to stop the virus. "If we wait for what the team, the organization or the government say, it will be too late. I still don't have the balls to say that I'm not going out but it may soon be like that. I thought that the Giro would be safer than the Tour. I never felt insecure about the Tour. But I have the feeling that the organization is hiding things from us. There is a lot of money at stake and for the sponsors it is important that we get to Milan. They are waiting for the government to decide and the decisions may come too late ".

Vegni: "De Gendt should be careful what he says"

The Giro d'Italia continues its course in a high state of tension due to the coronavirus crisis. After the withdrawal of the Mitchelton and Jumbo Visma and the EF's request to suspend the race on the rest day, now the director of the pink event, Mauro Vegni, criticizes the Belgian cyclist Thomas de Gendt, who assured that the organization "hides things ".

"I respect runners and their fears because when it comes to health you have to be very careful. But as an organization we are careful every day and we put all our strength into it. Athletes should behave in the same way, it would help to create a bubble of tranquility, "he asked.

According to Vegni, Thomas De Gendt "should be careful what he says, as he assured that the Giro organization was hiding things and that cyclists were beginning to feel in danger.

"I called his team manager and told him that Thomas de Gendt should be careful what he says. To say that we may have manipulated the results is very serious. International health is at stake," said Mauro Vegni.

Of the 17 cases of positives announced last Thursday among police officers, Vegni said that it was a parallel test, unrelated to the Giro, which is developed with electric bicycles.

Mauro Vegni insisted on the intention that the Giro arrive in Milan on October 25.

"I don't understand why we should stop the Giro. The Giro must continue, without a doubt. Before the start we knew that the virus would attack us, but all we have to do is keep on our way and keep our heads high."

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