Trek-Segafredo will withdraw his men’s team from Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday after positive COVID-19 tests, leaving one of the race favorites, Mads Pedersen, unable to line up to try to repeat his 2020 victory.
Trek-Segafredo is far from the only one to have to withdraw from an event due to positive tests, with a number of recent race withdrawals. Alpecin-Fenix did not start the Volta a Catalunya while the Spanish team Equipo Kern Pharma left en masse after two members of their team tested positive for COVID-19 after stage 4. Bora-Hansgrohe was also barred from riding the E3 Saxo Bank Classic in Belgium after Briton Matt Walls tested positive in the latest pre-race tests.
“A team member tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday the 26th,” the team said in a statement. “They were then put in isolation with the other team members who had been in close contact with them. The whole team underwent an additional PCR test which revealed a positive result for one of the isolated members.
“The team has decided to withdraw from Gent-Wevelgem while we carry out further testing before we can safely resume competition.”
The men’s squad that was to line up alongside Pedersen also included Edward Theuns, Quinn Simmons, Ryan Mullen and Milan-San Remo winner Jasper Stuyven.
“Absolutely eviscerated so as not to [be] take the start tomorrow! Turn the page and hope for the best for the races to come, ”said Stuyven sur Twitter.
The women’s team, which counts Lizzie Deignan among its many playing cards, will always compete in the event.
“Our female team, including the staff, is not affected by this as they have remained separate,” Trek-Segafredo said. “Therefore, they will always be racing Gent-Wevelgem.
The race, which returned to its traditional calendar location after taking place in October last year, is not accessible to spectators on climbs or cobbled sections as organizers have taken steps to minimize risk of COVID-19 in the region.
The paved race is delicately balanced between sprinters and breakaways, but the wind conditions look set to favor the attackers this year, with race director Hans De Clercq pointing to the southwest wind of 30 km / h expected for Sunday which could interrupt the race. in steps.