Now that Alpecin-Fenix and Mathieu van der Poel have left the UAE Tour due to a COVID-19 case within the team, the question immediately arised whether he can start this Saturday in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
The biggest obstacle at the moment seems to be returning to Belgium. The winner of the opening stage in the UAE Tour does not appear to be “close contact” of the positively tested staff member. This means that Van der Poel does not have to be quarantined.
For Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Van der Poel should take two tests, one that he already took last Sunday and one this Wednesday. In Belgium, riders who travel into the country shortly before the race must comply with additional measures imposed by the Ministry of Sport.
All riders who arrive in Belgium less than five days before the start of the race must undergo an extra rapid test on Friday (the day before the race).
“We would like to have him at the start”, said Tomas van den Spiegel, CEO of Flanders Classics. “And I think he likes to be there himself, because otherwise his preparation will be lost. Mathieu is one of the foundations of where we are going with cycling. A star for the next ten years. Of course we would like to have him there. ”