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Bora-Hansgrohe out of E3 Classic as Walls tests positive for COVID-19

Matthew Walls (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the best young rider's jersey at the start of stage 2 of Tour de la Provence
Matthew Walls (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the best young rider's jersey at the start of stage 2 of Tour de la Provence (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The Bora-Hansgrohe team have been stopped from riding today's E3 Saxo Bank Classic in Belgium after Britain's Matt Walls tested positive for COVID-19 in final pre-race testing.

The German WorldTour team said that all their other team members tested negative in follow-up PCR tests but, under the Belgian Cycling Federation's COVID-19 protocol, they were not allowed to take part in the race.

The Bora-Hansgrohe team for E3 Saxo Bank Classic included Daniel Oss and Nils Politt but not Peter Sagan, who opted to ride the Volta a Catalunya in Spain before heading to Belgium for the Tour of Flanders next weekend.

A number of teams have been hit by COVID-19 recently. In Spain two members of the Kern Pharma ProTeam tested positive in testing carried out on Thursday and Friday at the Volta a Catalunya.

Australia’s Harry Sweeny of Lotto Soudal did not start the Classic Brugge-De Panne on Wednesday because he was ill and later tested positive for COVID-19 in a PCR test. As a result teammate Tosh Van der Sande was placed into quarantine after finishing the race.

A number of other riders have been hit by COVID-19 in the first months of 2021. Peter Sagan and several Bora-Hansgrohe teammates were forced to quarantine in Gran Canaria after catching the virus during a privately held training camp.