Giant-Alpecin pull out of Dwars door Vlaanderen after Brussels bombings

Four riders of the six-man team left stranded

Dwars door Vlaanderen is still set to go ahead but it will be one team short with Giant-Alpecin having to drop out after the bombing attacks in Brussels meant four of their riders were unable to make it to Belgium.

The German-registered team were already due to compete with the bare minimum of six riders, instead of the eight allowed, because of injuries sustained by several of their riders in a training crash in January. Two members of the team were already in Belgium, but the remainder were due to arrive into Brussels on Tuesday morning.

US riders Chad Haga and Caleb Fairly were to fly from Spain, while Fredrik Ludvigsson was coming from Sweden. All three had their flights cancelled after two bombs exploded in Brussels airport. Dwars door Vlaanderen was to be Haga’s first race back following a collision with a car that took out him and several of his teammates in January, he will now make his return at the Criterium International.

There were no representatives for the team present at the meeting for directeur sportives in Waregem on Tuesday evening but organisers confirmed to Cyclingnews that Giant-Alpecin would be unable to make the start due to having only two riders.

Many teams will be riding without the full complement of riders. Aside from Giant-Alpecin, the hardest hit appears to be Movistar, that will take to the start line with just four riders. Antonio Pedrero, Nelson Oliveira, Carlos Betancur and Jorge Arcas have all been removed from the team’s line-up.

At the DS meeting on Tuesday, organisers reiterated their belief that the race would carry on. However, this is dependent on police availability with many officers now being redeployed elsewhere.

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