Race leader Aleksander Vlasov was among around 30 riders who had to withdraw from the Tour of Switzerland on Friday due to numerous cases of Covid-19.
They joined Adam Yates and the entire Jumbo-Visma team who had to pull out prior to Thursday’s fifth stage for the same reason.
Tour of Romandie champion Vlasov won Thursday’s stage to take the overall lead but the Russian rider’s hopes of a second prestigious win were dashed as he tested positive for Covid.
The 26-year-old was joined on the sidelines by all the riders from the UAE-Teams, Bahrain-Victorious and Alpecin-Fenix.
Vlasov’s Bora-Hansgrohe team-mate Anton Palzer also withdrew whilst amongst others to be affected were EF Education-Easypost who lost four riders including Colombian veteran Rigoberto Uran.
Vlasov, who has raced as a neutral athlete since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is replaced as overall leader by Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang of the Israel-Premier Tech team.
Friday’s stage sees the remaining cyclists tackle a 180 kilometres ride from Locarno to Moosalp which includes a beyond categorised climb at the Nufenen Pass, located 2,478 metres above sea level.