Race leader Alexander Vlasov was among about 30 riders who had to withdraw from the Tour of Switzerland on Friday due to multiple cases of Covid-19.
They joined Adam Yates and the entire Jumbo-Visma team, who had to pull out before Stage 5 on Thursday for the same reason.
Tour of Romandie champion Vlasov won Thursday’s stage to take the lead in the overall standings, but the Russian rider’s hopes for a second prestigious win were dashed as he tested positive for Covid.
The 26-year-old was joined by all riders from the UAE, Bahrain-Victorious and Alpecin-Fenix teams.
Vlasov’s Bora-Hansgrohe teammate Anton Palzer also withdrew, while other casualties included EF Education-Easypost who lost four riders, including Colombian veteran Rigoberto Urana.
Vlasov, who raced as a neutral after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, was replaced as the overall leader by Danish driver Jakob Fuglsang of the Israel-Premier Tech team.
On Friday’s leg, the remaining cyclists tackle the 180-kilometer ride from Locarno to Moosalp, which includes climbing the Nufenen Pass, located at an altitude of 2478 meters above sea level.