Alpecin-Deceuninck has withdrawn from the Tour de Pologne after five staff members tested positive for COVID-19. The team added that test results for riders were ‘all negative’
“We are sorry to announce our withdrawal from Tour de Pologne after 5 COVID cases within our team staff on site,” the team posted to social media just hours after the completion of stage 3 in Przemyśl.
“In the interest of the health of our riders, team staff, and all other teams participating, we have decided – in agreement with the UCI and the local organizing committee – to leave this year’s tour de Pologne.”
Twenty minutes after the announcement of withdrawal was made, Alpecin-Deceuninck confirmed on Twitter that it was staff, not riders, who had tested positive.
“EXTRA - We received confirmation that all tests done today with the riders turned out to be ALL negative. So no positive cases with our riders.”
The team had a seven-rider squad competing at the Tour de Pologne, with Stefano Oldani their best-placed rider in 18th overall after three stages, in a large pack of four riders just 20 seconds off the lead of Sergio Higuita (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Also competing were David van der Poel, Sjoerd Bax, Tobias Bayer, Senne Leysen, Jakub Mareczko and Fabio van den Bossche. Van der Poel and Bayer were involved in a crash in the opening kilometres of stage 3 but would finish the gargantuan 237.9km ride.
At this year's recently concluded Tour de France, 41 riders abandoned the race, 17 of them due to COVID-19.
From the Alpecin squad, Michael Gogl withdrew from the Grand Tour due to injuries from a crash and Mathieu van der Poel withdrew due to lack of form.
The Tour de Pologne covers 1,200km over seven days and is a vital tune-up event for the Vuelta a España.
Among the WorldTeams looking for top honours are Ineos Grenadiers with Richard Carapaz, Bahrain Victorious with Pello Bilbao and Bora-Hansgrohe with Higuita.
After winning stage 3 on Monday, Higuita has a four-second lead in the GC over Bilbao, while Quinten Hermans (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) is another two seconds back in third.
Carapaz is tied with nine other riders, including teammate Ethan Hayter, just 10 seconds off the pace.
#TdP22 🇵🇱We are sorry to announce our withdrawal from @Tour_de_Pologne after 5 COVID cases within our team staff onsite… (1/2) pic.twitter.com/lhPtjxsUJXAugust 1, 2022
In the interest of the health of our riders, team staff, and all other teams participating, we have decided – in agreement with the UCI and the local organizing committee – to leave this year’s @Tour_de_Pologne (2/2).August 1, 2022
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