The Jumbo-Visma team have closed down their training camp in Alicante, Spain, after a positive COVID-19 case was identified via testing.
"The doomsday scenario has come true," performance manager Mathieu Heijboer said in a statement.
"This is a scenario that we have taken into account, of course. We had already decided how to act in such a situation, and we had taken all kinds of measures. Breaking up is the best option to prevent further spread. It is a logistical job to get done."
The team said the infected person and close contacts are quarantined in accordance with the guidelines. Other riders and staff will return home or stay in Spain on an individual basis, with minimal support from the team.
Jumbo-Visma explained they conducted daily tests on all persons in the team bubble, with the infection likely to have occurred at home before travelling to the camp. Team manager Richard Plugge was unable to attend the camp after a close contact with a COVID-19 case, while Tom Dumoulin was also absent after recently having his booster vaccine.
The riders did their first training ride on Tuesday and then attended their team presentation and carried out interviews with the media following careful guidelines. The team suggested that because everyone trained and ate in separate groups as a precautionary measure, the number of close contacts is limited.
"The health of our riders and our staff is our main concern. That’s why we are breaking down our training camp," team director Merijn Zeeman said.
"It has been confirmed once again that it is extremely challenging to organise these kinds of activities in these times. We will guarantee the sporting part as well as possible so that the riders can continue their preparation for the season within the possibilities. It’s a pity, but it is the only right choice."
According to the Dutch Wielerflits website that broadcast the team presentation live, the COVID-19 positive was discovered in pre-breakfast testing. After a meeting, some riders decided to quickly head home to avoid the risk of being infected and of having to quarantine in Spain. Robert Gesink, Sepp Kuss and Tobias Foss left immediately to return to Andorra, while Steven Kruijswijk and Primož Roglič travelled to Monaco by car.
"It's a long journey, but I can also train well in Monaco. I don't want to risk getting infected in the team hotel. As a precaution, I’m returning home," Kruijswijk said before he left.
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