The start line of the Tour of Flanders will be missing a full group on Sunday after Israel-Leading Tech declared their withdrawal from the race, with two COVID-19 conditions among the the squad in Belgium placing their whole cobbled Classics crew out of action.
On Friday morning the squad introduced that all of their riders and team in Belgium have to be regarded shut contacts of the two team users constructive for COVID-19. That, in mix with presently existing health issues and harm in the staff, has meant they won’t be able to race on Sunday.
At Wednesday’s Dwars door Vlaanderen, the staff started out with just a few riders after Guillaume Boivin and Jenthe Biermans had been late scratches because of to disease. On the morning of the race, cobbled Classics chief Sep Vanmarcke talked of a “funeral ambiance” among the group. The Belgian experienced been operating his way up to prime form himself, owning been sick previously this month.
As perfectly as missing out on the Tour of Flanders, Israel Leading-Tech will also skip Scheldeprijs, which runs next Wednesday.
“This is a incredibly regrettable condition and we are incredibly unhappy to have to withdraw from Ronde van Vlaanderen,” stated staff manager Kjell Carlström.
“This selection has not been taken flippantly but we truly feel this is our only possibility at this stage. It is no magic formula we have had Covid-19 and other health issues and crash-induced injuries wiping out the the vast majority of our riders at a single stage or a different in recent months.”
“Correct now, we have quite few healthier riders who could just take to the start out line. But they are now near contacts, and it is out of respect for the race and the rest of the peloton that we are using this selection. It is our duty of treatment toward the other groups to not be willingly sending riders who have been uncovered to COVID-19 into a race.”
“By withdrawing from the race, we are letting our cobbled classics riders to recuperate and hit the reset button. No 1 is extra dissatisfied than us but ideally, this decision will permit us to help save the remainder of the spring period and get back again on track.”
Group leader Vanmarcke explained to Het Nieuwsblad that the staff experienced strike its least expensive position with the withdrawal.
“We just do not have adequate riders anymore,” he stated. “Rudy Barbier dropped out with corona and our prepare dinner also analyzed favourable. I anxiety there are much more to appear. We have reached the cheapest position. You can’t slide any further as a crew than merely not getting plenty of professionals to ride the Ronde.
“Not that I would engage in a sizeable purpose in the Tour of Flanders this time, but I would have appreciated to be there, to be portion of the peloton,” he added.
He’ll now head to Dénia in Spain for a warm temperature teaching camp ahead of his most important target of the spring, Paris-Roubaix.
The squad, who had been already lacking Giacomo Nizzolo (fractured wrist) and Tom Van Asbroeck (blood clots) for latest races, join a expanding record of riders lacking the Tour of Flanders due to sickness and injury.
Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies), Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo), and Stefan Bissegger (EF Education and learning-EasyPost) are amid the main names to have by now withdrawn from the race, whilst Wout van Aert’s participation is in question following missing Jumbo-Visma’s training course recon on Thursday.