Alpecin-Fenix pull out of Volta a Catalunya after three staff members test positive for COVID-19

Mathieu van der Poel and his Alpecin-Fenix teammates preview the Milan-San Remo route for 2020
(Image credit: Alpecin-Fenix)

The Alpecin-Fenix team have announced they will not ride next week's Volta a Catalunya after three members of staff tested positive for COVID-19. 

The Belgian ProTeam explained that they were unable to replace the team staff that have gone into isolation and quarantine and so, in accordance with the race organiser, they decided not to take part in the WorldTour stage race, which gets underway on Monday. 

Mathieu van der Poel will lead Alpecin-Fenix at Milan-San Remo on Saturday and then focus on the Spring Classics, and so he was not expected to ride the Volta a Catalunya.

"Three members of Alpecin-Fenix recently returned positive test results. In order to minimize the risk of spreading the virus, it has been decided to isolate and quarantine all the team’s staff that were supposed to travel to the Volta," the team said in a brief statement.   

"Given that it’s impossible for our team to replace the entire staff for the Volta, therefore in accordance with the organisers, we will not be present at the centenary edition of the Volta.

"We want to emphasize that this decision was taken to protect the health of everyone involved and for the benefit of the cycling bubble, in order to ensure a safe beginning of the race."

Last month, Alpecin-Fenix withdrew from the UAE Tour ahead of stage 2 after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. Van der Poel, who had won the first stage, was not a direct contact with the staff member and he returned to Europe in time to participate at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne the following weekend.

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