Ineos Grenadier Filippo Ganna is out of the Giro d'Italia

Fossombrone (Italy) (AFP) - Ineos Grenadiers took a major blow when Filippo Ganna withdrew before stage eight of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday having fallen ill with Covid-19.

The Italian is the fourth rider to pull out of the race with Covid although three Jumbo riders were also withdrawn on the eve of the 2023 edition.

The loss will impact the bids of both Geraint Thomas and 2020 Giro champion Tao Geoghegan Hart as Ganna was a key part of the power this Ineos outfit expends in its everyday effort.

Thomas is sixth in the standings around 58 seconds behind favourite Remco Evenepoel.

“Filippo Ganna will regrettably not line up to contest today’s Stage 8 of the 2023 Giro, after testing positive for Covid-19 and displaying mild, flu-like symptoms,” Ineos said.

Ganna has won the world championships time trial twice and would have been a likely contender for Sunday’s 35km individual time trial.