The Jumbo-Visma team have quit the Tour de Suisse, revealing that COVID-19 “has crept into the team again.”
“In the interest of the health of the riders and staff and to protect the peloton and the race, the medical and sporting management of the Dutch formation considers withdrawing from the Swiss stage race the wisest decision,” Jumbo-Visma said in a statement.
“The decision was taken in consultation with the management of the Tour de Suisse (opens in new tab).”
The Jumbo-Visma (opens in new tab) team did not reveal which riders or staff have tested positive for COVID-19 and claimed the latest COVID-19 scare does not yet have an impact on their Tour de France (opens in new tab) squad.
Tour de Suisse race director Olivier Senn told Velo Pro Net (opens in new tab) that the team had four positive cases in their squad and so pulled their whole team and staff from the race on Thursday morning.
Later in the morning Team DSM also revealed that Cees Bol, Casper Pedersen and Søren Kragh Andersen had all tested positive for COVID-19. The other Team DSM riders continued in the race. A number of other riders also quit the race due to illness and fatigue.
“For the time being, the situation has no consequences for the Tour de France shortlist, although the developments in the coming days must of course be awaited,” the team said.
Primož Roglič, Wout van Aert and a number of riders expected to ride the Tour de France rode the Criterium du Dauphine. The Jumbo-Visma line-up for the tour de Suisse includes Rohan Dennis, Sepp Kuss, Robert Gesink and Mike Teunissen.
Jumbo-Visma had delayed selection for the Tour de France due to concerns about COVID-19 cases.
The team said their decision to quit the Tour de Suisse stems from “daily testing of both riders and staff, so that any corona case can be isolated as quickly as possible. The use of mouth coverings, air purification columns and single rooms are also still commonplace among the team.”
Despite their precautions, the Jumbo-Visma team have suffered a number of COVID-19 cases.
The team closed-down their January training camp in Spain and pulled out of races after cases were detected and then Van Aert was forced to miss the tour of Flanders after testing positive. Marianne Vos was forced to miss the Classics due to catching the virus.
COVID-19 cases in the peloton have reduced in recent months and the sport has reduced some of the restrictions. However there were reportedly a number of cases stemming from the recent Tour of Norway.
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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and Cycling Weekly, among other publications.