Torquato Testa to Miss Rotorua Slopestyle Due to Coronavirus Self Isolation

Mar 6, 2020 at 5:31
by James Smurthwaite  

Torquato Testa will miss the Crankworx Rotorua slopestyle finals on Saturday after being asked to self-isolate by the New Zealand Ministry of Health. New regulations protecting against the spread of Coronavirus mean that he is currently holed up in his hotel room and could be there for up to 14 days. New Zealand currently has four cases of Coronavirus, however it is protecting itself against visitors from countries such as Italy where Coronavirus has infected nearly 4,000 people and killed more than 100.

Testa says he is totally healthy and not showing any symptoms of the disease but has been asked to self isolate as the disease can incubate within a body but still be passed on. The Italian rider called the New Zealand embassy before he left Italy and was told he would be fine to enter. Torquato then left Italy on March 1 and passed through border security on March 3. He was at the Crankworx site on March 4 for dual slalom practice with Stefano Dolfin, a rider who traveled with him, however they were both asked to leave the site and return to their hotel room.

Initial recommendations published on March 2, asked anyone who flew out of Italy into New Zealand after March 3 to self-isolate for 14 days, which would not have affected Torquato. However, new regulations published on March 4 stated: "anyone arriving in New Zealand who has returned from mainland China, Iran, northern Italy or the Republic of Korea (excluding airport transit), or been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days is being asked to self-isolate." The full regulations can be found here.

Torquato Testa on his way to second place.
Testa on his way to 2nd place at the 2017 Crankworx Rotorua slopestyle.

Torquato has since spoken to the Italian embassy in New Zealand to try and reverse the decision but has now received word from Dr Phil Shoemack, Medical Officer of Health for the Bay of Plenty, that confirmed he must self-isolate and not attend public gatherings. It has come as a big blow for Testa who battled his way up to the top 3 in the Crankworx Slopestyle rankings last year after 10 years of competing, guaranteeing himself an automatic invitation to all stops this year. He also fears the impact it will have on his sponsorship contracts after being forced to miss one of the three biggest events of his year.

bigquotesDidn’t want to post this but I have to: we are in Rotorua for Crankworx WE ARE TOTALLY HEALTHY but we are forced to stay in self-isolation in our hotel room from about 2 days because of new Corona Virus New Zealand prescriptions. FOR NOW, WE CAN NOT TAKE PART TO ANY EVENTS HERE!

We already contact the Italian Embassy that agreed with us but not the NZ Ministry of Health. This entire situation feels unreal because feels like to be discriminated only because I come from Italy while Corona Virus is a Worldwide problem NOT ONLY OF ITALIANS!!!! Tomorrow could be you: Germans, French, Swiss, Americans...
Torquato Testa

bigquotes“This is a very unfortunate situation. We have been in close contact with the athletes to offer support to them during this time.”Julia Montague, Communications Manager at Crankworx


  • 127 2
 He is a sick rider.
  • 22 1
 I wonder if his steez is infectious?
  • 13 7
 too soon ;-)
  • 128 46
 Disappointing to see pinkbike indulging this selfish behavior from Torquato, guy has no ability to see how this situation is bigger than him and just jumps to “Italian discrimination” as his only defense, notice how Diego has been quiet this entire time? Probably because he realizes the actual gravity of the situation as opposed to Testa, who is currently the epitome of ignorant, naive and selfish. The guys posted a picture of hitler on his Instagram comparing it to the NZ health officials then instantly deleted it, hit my DM for the picture as it really shows how immature and shortsighted he’s been acting. Big ups to all the people who are quarantined and don’t take it as a personal vendetta, those guys deserve attention, not him.
  • 7 13
flag barbarosza (Mar 6, 2020 at 11:52) (Below Threshold)
 He says he s not yet SiCK! of it all .... but with the new regulations in place we have to obey,sponsors would be totally fine with it,its common sense.I do get him,contacting NZ authorities and them stating he d be fine to come then getting him in quarantine mode in the hotel...not a fun thing
  • 26 4
 @barbarosza: he’s not a doctor and the incubation period is 14 days lol, his opinion doesn’t rule...
  • 30 14
 @Keyboardkilla: Pinkbike is not indulging anything, I don’t see where pinkbike made a comment or pick a side on this argument. Is Torquato being immature? yes certainly he is, but you need to understand the frustration of travailing half the f*cking world in an airplane with at least 100 people and the fact that they pick you from that bunch of people and ask you to isolate yourself for your nationality, that’s f*cking bullshit! I would’ve been offended af too! Just look at how many cases there is in the US and Canada and not one North American have been ask to be isolated and there’s a whole lot more riders from there than probably anywhere else
  • 7 4
 @Keyboardkilla: People who came back to California after a 14 day quarantine got infected two days later. Look at the symptoms is just the flu you still have a 97% chance of survival.
  • 12 9
 @Keyboardkilla: I don't disagree with your judgement of his behaviour, but I think you need to step back and try to view this situation from his point of view. Yes, the Corona Virus is much bigger than Torquato and his role as a slope style rider, but try to imagine what he might be feeling.
He followed the procedures he was told to follow, he was accepted into the competition and made the arrangements to compete in March 6ths competition. He was told 2 days before competition that policy had changed and that he would no longer be eligible to ride.
Was his reaction reasonable? I am not one to say. Slope style spits riders out faster than any other discipline. You MIGHT be on circuit at a high level for 3-4 years. If you do this, you are probably a top ten ranked athlete WorldWide. Torquato has been able to stay relevant for 5+ years and has only been getting better. Maybe this was his year where he could be a legit 1st place contender. That is LIFE changing. Like, 1 in 1000000 sort of odds. And now 2 days before his most important competitive season he has been told he can not compete. He may not have another year, because you just never know in slopestyle. So yeah, emotion is probably running high and he may have said some shit he wouldn't have in other situations. Makes complete sense to me given how greatly this could effect his life
  • 8 7
 @Keyboardkilla: 100% agree with you, lost all respect for this guy now - clear attitude adjustment required....mind blowing, even the insta photo is aggro..what a muppet!
  • 6 1
 @lalientoxc: 3% chance to die over an infection seems pretty f*cking high to me. Especially as "just the flu" is horrible already on many people and any way to lessen its impact is a good thing.

I know on this website there are only cool and tough guys though
  • 2 0
 @lalientoxc: does anyone know if it is just them off that plane that are in isolation? Maybe NZ has asked others but they haven't made it to pinkbike fame
  • 1 0
 I was being sarcastic I don’t know why people didn’t get my English . @Keyboardkilla:
  • 1 0
 @lalientoxc: Just pointing out he wasn't asked to quarantine for his nationality, but for where he spent time before flying to NZ. Would have been exactly the same if he was Norwegian or Venezuelan and stayed in Northern Italy before the trip.
  • 104 23
 Torquato Testa, world health VS your entry in Crankworx, get a grip mate and see the bigger picture, grow up !
  • 8 88
flag lalientoxc (Mar 6, 2020 at 13:34) (Below Threshold)
 You get the grip mate!! The only thing that they have to hold against him is his nationally but there’s more Canadians who have been infected and there’s more Canadian riders than Italians at Crankworxs but the Italians are being the only ones who get picked on.. yeah that f*cking racism!!
  • 48 3
 @lalientoxc: You might want to check the facts before you comment. Italy has 4000 cases and 200 deaths. Canada has 49 cases. It is not racism, it is to minimize the spread of the virus.
  • 8 1
 @lalientoxc: Not sure where you are getting your facts. "As of March 6, 2020, 49 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Canada".
  • 10 0
 @lalientoxc: like others have pointed out, Italy as far more cases than sound like a complete imbecile saying the opposite...

Also, singling out ONE nationality out of a few dozens is text book definition of : RACISMS.( there’s quite a few more countries other than Canada at Crankworx buddy )

You’re seeing a big conspiracy where theres just isnt one...nobody hates Italy man, you guys make sick cars, great food, gorgeous womens ;-) Its just bad luck your country got hit hard with the flu this year!
  • 6 1
 @lalientoxc: I don’t think you know what racism means. Racism is against a race of people not a nationality of people.
  • 3 0
 Racers and staff at the UAE Tour pretty much claimed the same thing as Testa—“we are totally healthy, WTF let us out of quarantine!” (they locked down the race hotel). So a few days pass, lots of testing and well what would you know, several are positive.
  • 17 6
 @pintsize: that's not totally correct. Italy has more cases because we did over 10000 tests as of now, if you search infected people you find them. Other countries simply aren't searching it, tests here are free also.
I don't think the situation is different in other countries, they simply don't care and everyone is fine.
No one will do a test in USA paying 3000 dollars
  • 6 1
 @DavideBalbo: nail, head. With drumpf admin banning american health officials from speaking publicly.... hhmmmm......

All those people on a plane with recycled air an only Italians get quarantined....
  • 2 0
 @DavideBalbo: tests are free in California per Governor’s order.
  • 2 0
 @DavideBalbo: that is probably very true but, I wish other countries were being proactive like yours. I am sorry to see that your country is one of the most effected so far
  • 2 0
 @DavideBalbo: dude, as of today, Italy still has more death than Canada, PERIOD.

You dont have more deaths in the population simply because youre testing more people thats just not how it works...Money and testing as nothing to do with the death toll.
  • 3 2
 @neroleeloo: many people are dieing for normal flu these days, old people mainly. If you don't test people they will simply fall in the normal flu total number, maybe they had covid19.
The first week we had 11 deaths from covid19 and in the same week 217 for season flu.
  • 3 0
 @DavideBalbo: thats beside the point, this isnt about my opinion or any of ours really , you’re trying to convince me but that wont change a thing.Officials at events have to take decisions based on certain facts.Right now , there’s not a whole lot they know about this virus and all they can rely on is the available data.More death = more risk, regardless if the info is flawed or not.If anyone is to blame, it certainly isnt NewZeland ,or any other countries but your own... In a sad, twisted way,they couldn’t have been more quiet and on the lying side of thing... like China did.( and just to be clear, I personally applaud how Italy has been handling it so far )
  • 47 0
 “This is a very unfortunate situation. We have been in close contact with the athletes to offer support to them during this time.”

Close contact? Sounds dangerous.
  • 47 1
 Not sure if I would consider this xenophobic as he claims, but a big bummer nonetheless.
  • 12 7
 I thought the only people who discriminate Italians are the Russian mobsters in US
  • 6 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Russian monsters make Italian mobster look like Girl Scouts
  • 8 0
 @ReformedRoadie: Unless it's the Italian one killing you. Then you're just as a dead.
  • 3 2
 @blowmyfuse: yeah but Russians have this scent of mystery...
  • 4 0
 @WAKIdesigns: ayyyy faggeddaboutit
  • 2 1
 @blowmyfuse: it’s the part up to being dead I’m talking about...
  • 4 0
 @ReformedRoadie: so glad you clarified
  • 3 0
 I certainly understand his frustration, considering he called ahead and missing a major event can certainly hurt your sponsorships. However, what can really loose you sponsors, is a lot of negative press for reacting the way he did and claiming racism. I am assuming he actually meant say discrimination as that would be more accurate.
  • 33 1
 It is reasonable to quarantine people from areas of high risk. Even though you may not have symptoms, you still may be a carrier of the coronavirus and can still transmit it.
  • 11 16
flag dirtyoldclown (Mar 6, 2020 at 13:06) (Below Threshold)
 bit pointless to do it AFTER he's already been out and about rubbing shoulders with the other riders, fans, locals etc. though. might as well let him compete now
  • 9 0
 @dirtyoldclown: why? So he could potentially transmit it to even more people? Thats some weird reasoning there bro.
  • 31 1
 Italy should have been smart like the US and just not tested many people. Profit.
  • 3 0
 They are testing so many people to contain the infected and avoid an exponential spread of the disease, which would lead to intensive care units being all of a sudden flooded with elder people with pneumonia.
  • 1 0
 Yeah except Italy has 145 deaths vs 17 in the US. I think it's clear the difference isn't just because people aren't being tested in the US.
  • 32 10
 Our VP, who is the leading expert on the topic says that you just need to pray harder! Also our brilliant Pres says that the WHO is over-inflating the danger and death's basically just a light sneeze and chest tickle. Seems like if you just pray you will be fine. Amirite? Good luck boomers....
  • 15 8
 "Magic Mike" Pence, prayer beats science, magic over medicine. 60% of the time it works every time.
  • 3 3
 Not leading expert but working with the leading scientific experts. Would be nice to get facts straight. The whole thing is wrong. Plus this guy is worrying about a MTB comp when China govt is welding apartment buildings doors shut. Every government sucks get over it!
  • 7 10
 @chacou: Science, the left is hardly the group that believes in science. They believe women are men and vice versa, definitely not science.
  • 4 5

@chacou Wow - you got owned big time. Serves you right for injecting politics where it did not need to be. Take your politics to a political site.
  • 3 1
 @SLBIKES: Also... Anything pertaining to gender would be considered biology, not science.
  • 2 0
 @SLBIKES: funny how he says a vaccine will be ready in a few months despite what the actual experts tell him, maybe he's changed his tune on vaccines?
  • 10 0
 So the World Cup DH is in jeapordy and no one is saying anything about it. I mean 80+ riders from every walk of life descending on tiny foreign, rural towns in out of the way places from abroad sounds like something every single venue is going to freak out about and shut down at the last moment.

The entire international race schedule is in jeapordy.
  • 1 0
 What’s there to say? As of now no announcement has been made one way or another, I’m sure if it gets canceled or they run it and riders start getting sick a whole lot will be said, but until then why stress on it?
  • 1 0
 On a bigger scale it makes total sense to cancel world Cup events, even F1 may cancel events...
  • 1 1
 @Caiokv: No it doesn't. To quote Ron Burgundy: "You shut your dirty hole."

But senseless is where we are at in this world, so they will cancel at some point. Which is gonna suck and be stupid at the same time.
  • 1 0
 Well... that escalated quickly
  • 12 1
 very unfortunate post of him - I understand his disappointment, but as public figure he should have slept over this and it also is just incorrect
  • 1 0
 "Postponed "... meaning we'll "cancel" it later.
  • 9 1
 It's the what if factor. What if there was a carrier on any one of the planes he flew to NZ? What if he is a carrier? What if he infected every single slope style rider and they all died? {a bit extreme circumstance, but we're playing the what if game here}

It's not always about the me me me... Sometimes you have to take one for the team, and sometimes in doing so you have do something that inconveniences you. Here he is only concerned about himself. What if he infected a baby?

And if he were to get sick he'd have the full support of the NZ health care system and not have to pay a dime.

Until the health authorities know more about this virus, then we as a population have to tread on the cautious side of the line.

Hopefully this will blow over like SARS, but indicators are that SARS pales in comparison so who knows?
  • 14 3
 Albeit Testa behavior,
all rider
travel around the globe the problem isn't only for Italians. The discrimination come from the fact that we are the only country in Europe that have
made enough test on the population (initially exceeding the guidelines from the OMS) and search for the virus .Thanks to the Media people thinks that the virus is only in Italy ( fake news about an Italian who have spread it in Europe )
China and Iran , while the other places are safe, time to time and we'll se . Fortunately we could count on one of the best free sanity system in the world (even if the government cut budget to it or don't pay enough the doc) . I agree that the virus is a world problem compared
to whichever events,
so the safe choice would be cancel or reschedule every event if you can't ensure the safety for all the competitors , but the wolrd market can't handle it.
  • 3 0
 @Cookiefr: agree with that! Here in France cases here and there but you're tested only if you're known as "contact person" or dead or almost in hospital! Juventus trainer said it very simply 2 weeks ago, if we test as much people as Italians did we (possibly) have as much cases infected...
  • 2 0
That only justifies the decision and your argument would mean they should’ve cancelled the whole event and stick everyone into quarantine?
  • 6 0
 Of course everyone always gets a flu shot and wears a mask when they’re sick, right?

So here’s the deal: the virus can only get into your body by one of two ways:

You ingest it, you put it into your body by sticking your fingers in your mouth, nose, or eyes. Yes, YOU are the one making yourself sick.

A mask reduces virus spread by containing the virus that a sick person spreads from coughing and sneezing.

You can prevent getting the virus by washing your hands before you pick your nose. Yeah, you know what I’m saying.

In the end, this virus will spread around the world not unlike a flu virus. All of us will be exposed to this virus in time. Get over it.

.... and yeah, I’m a medical provider, I tell the same things to my clients, and I’m getting tired of stoopid people stressing over this virus, it’s making us all irritable.

and no, if you are not sick you will not get tested for the virus in the USA because we ain’t got enough f*cking tests. Blame your supreme leader, overlord dumbass, Trump.

and no, there is no treatment for this virus, so getting tested doesn’t do jackshit!
  • 5 0
 Thing is, they shouldn't have let him board that plane to Rotorua in the first place if they were just gonna isolate him. I would be disappointed too for letting me travel a thousand miles for nothing.
  • 6 0
 The only risk to his sponsorship contracts in this situation is his use of social media to compare the NZ goverment to Hitler. Pull your head in mate.
  • 9 0
 yeah exactly what i thought when i saw that post. i was like "daaaaaaaaaamn, bro!" as italian i'm for sure disappointed by what happened to Torquato, but i'm even more disappointed by his behaviour. he is a professional, should behave like one.
  • 4 0
 @Bruccio: especially with a main sponsor being German.
  • 3 0
 in Italy we have many positive cases because we do many tests even for those who have no significant symptoms. even if they did all the states of the world, they would increase the coronavirus cases! for a healthy person the coronavirus does not represent a deadly threat !!!
  • 3 0
 "for a healthy person the coronavirus does not represent a deadly threat "
True, but I'm assuming you're all chilled cause you're healthy.
As a person with a couple of chronic conditions, including asthma, I don't have that comfort (as a doctor I see many people with infections daily).
And there are many people with much more serious conditions than mine. They are all in danger of making it to the 14-15% that will become very seriously ill, or the 3% that will die.
A healthy person who is a carrier of the virus, may represent a deadly threat for someone with chronic diseases.
  • 4 1
 Your have 145 deaths in those 6000 cases. That's why it's being taken seriously. One of the bigger outbreaks outside of China. It is not discrimination. There is a real problem when your death toll is that much higher than other counties outside of Asia.
  • 4 1
 Unfair or not. Decision was made by an authority that does not have anything to do with The Crankworx Team, his sponsors or other riders. Calling out racism, making hitler comparisons and accusing people that did not make that decision of being racists (Italian is an ethnicity and not a race) is a unprofessional behavior. I’m annoyed of him and blocked him everywhere. For years he has been complaining about judging, price money, fairness and so on. He’ll always find something to complain openly about and that’s why I blocked all his accounts and I’ll continue to quit watching streams whenever he is on.
He might be a nice person and a great talented rider but I’m not tolerating this behavior. Every single one of us has a voice, follow, view and therefore power to either support or stop stuff like this in either direction!
  • 5 0
 Why to I have a sinking suspicion that the entire UCU DH season is in serious risk of being tanked.........
  • 1 0
 This just in, UCI DH WC to be conducted via Swift Blank Stare
  • 1 0
 @Levelheadsteve: autocorrect is Zitch
  • 2 0
 what is not clear in the above is when he called the NZ embassy to get clearance to travel. The day before? The week before? This would make a difference to the argument.
Its unfortunate for sure and i feel for the guy (and anyone else who in the same situation) but unless there were riders from Iran and China and Korea attending then the call by NZ is totally understandable.
Its nothing against Italy and Italians so get over it and grow up. Maybe pay some attention to current world news.
And as for those of you citing that its 97% survivable, tell that to the 3%...
  • 1 0
 of course! but a normal flu kills more people per year than this coronavirus. but it's not that news ... one should always check who died of the coronavirus or who died of the coronavirus
  • 1 0
 @elbiund: most of the people who died because of the flu are ignorant idiots who did not get vaccinated
(not talking about those who didn't have access to the vaccine).
It's completely uncomprehendible for me how you can have an easy accessible, cheap and effective way to prevent a disease and not use it.
  • 1 0
 @elbiund: @elbiund: most of the people who got sick with the flu are ignorant idiots who did not get vaccinated
(not talking about those who didn't have access to the vaccine, or couldn't get vaccinated or didn't respond to the vaccine due to a medical condition ). They had a solution but opted not to use it.
It's completely uncomprehendible for me how you can have an easy accessible, cheap and effective way to prevent a disease and not use it.

Was going to edit the post above, but PB said it's too old to edit. I admit it was a bit insensitive, sorry for that, but people not getting vaccines is a bit of a touchy subject.
  • 1 0
 I didn't liked Toto's ig post, I don't agree with him when he talks about he and Stefano being discriminated for being italians. BUT I totally understand his point of view (For example Fedko stayed in Italy and rode with Toto at Caverzasi's place in the end of February, and therefore he had a similar exposure to covid as Toto) and I agree with him that this situation could have been handled differently. Just not letting him leave Italy in first place or letting him compete limiting contact with other people and riders as much as possible.
  • 4 0
 Bring Max in as the last second decision, c'mon guys
  • 1 0
 What happened to Max????
  • 1 0
 @dj100procentenduro: Dunno why he didn't have the chance to ride
  • 4 0
 I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell!
  • 2 1
 Guys either going to learn a lesson that you think before you socialmedia or he's going to dig his hole even deeper over the next couple days as the quarantine bug really kicks in...
  • 2 1
 Well, I think we could maybe just use common sense instead of arbitrary random measures, he could still participate to the competition while avoiding close contact with anybody.
  • 5 2
 Hasnt he handled it well. Come on PB post his Nazi Insta post. Woeful. To his sponsours...sack him.
  • 2 2
 If a non Italian athlete had entered and said nothing about their trips around the world in the last months, (including Italy) they would not have known, honestly things like this encourage people to say nothing. It is a discriminatory move, for sure, its just arse covering for an official.

I know at least one other athlete there who has had contact with Italians from the north as well, he has not even been to italy... shall we isolate him?
  • 3 0
 It only encourages unethical people to say nothing.
  • 5 1
 whiny italians ...thats a new one Big Grin
  • 4 1
 Why wouldn't just test them? Done.
  • 6 1
 I don't think the tests are very reliable
  • 6 0
 there's a latent period where you can hit negative and not have any symptoms but can still carry the virus
  • 2 1
 They can’t just test them because it’s virus. It can’t be detected until symptoms start to appear
  • 3 1
 You need to test 1-2 times per day over a 14 day period to be in the clear, hence the quarantine.
  • 2 0
That’s bullshit... people without symptoms have been tested positive.
It depends on your health how „sick“ you get and if at all but can still be a carrier.
Just like any other flu!
  • 2 0
 the real cure to the 'rona virus is mtbing!
  • 4 3
 Can't he just compete with an N95 mask or something? is an outdoor event after all.
  • 1 0
 Most of the folks that were in 14 day quarantine cane back to California infected two days later..
  • 5 1
 Newsflash - they were already infected. That's the point or a quarantine. Which amusingly (for me at least) is an Italian word, from their forced practice of not allowing potential plague carrying ships to dock. And now the circle of life is complete.
  • 2 0
 Don't spread misinformation! One or two, NOT most.
  • 2 1
 Who will be the first bike company to come out with a mask! LOL
  • 4 3
 There is no point in wearing a face mask at all if you wear it like that.
  • 3 2
 Face masks are fairly pointless against an airborne virus. You can still get infected through eyes or ears or open wound. They're like life jackets on a plane in the event that your plane crash over the Pacific will be survivable in the first instance and then you'll bob around in the ocean and survive - only there to placate your fears.
  • 2 1
 There's no point in wearing a face mask if you don't have symptoms. Only the people that have respiratory tract symptoms, the medical professionals and people caring for the sick ones should wear a mask. otherwise it's a waste of resources.
  • 2 1
 @chmurka3rg: People with COVID-19 can still spread the virus while asymptomatic.

@handynzl: Chris Martensen (Peak Prosperity) March 6th update "How To Avoid Getting Infected By The Coronavirus" on YouTube provides some interesting information regarding masks, respirators, gloves and face shields/eye protection:
  • 2 0
 Sad day.
  • 2 1
 Is Mama Testa worried about her son?
  • 1 0
  • 3 6
 I feel like him being excluded from the competition... He should be eligible for some compensation. As a professional athlete it's his job right? I hope there's something covering him missing competition
  • 6 2
 Like some kind of insurance that as a professional athlete he might have bought, given how important competing is to him? Or should the NZ taxpayers pay? Or given he's Italian, the Italian taxpayers?
  • 4 1
 @nouseforaname: yeah something like that.
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