Mathieu van der Poel and his Alpecin-Fenix teammates didn’t took the start in the second stage of the UAE Tour on Monday after a member of the Belgian team tested positive for Covid-19.
“Alpecin-Fenix, in agreement with the UAE Tour organiser, have decided to withdraw its team from the race, in order to safeguard the race bubble and ensure the safe continuation of the race,” read the statement.
“The team was notified of one positive result of a member of its staff from the round of tests conducted on Sunday evening, 21st of February. Upon receiving the results, the person immediately went into isolation, and all those who came into contact with this person are self-isolating, in compliance with the protocol measures put in place by the race organisers and UAE Health Authorities.
“All team members will undertake further tests in the coming days, while they remain in isolation.”
Last year’s race was shuttered after just five stages due to the coronavirus with riders, staff members and organisers all catching the virus, which meant that everyone had to quarantine in their hotel.