BORA ‘ANGRY’ AFTER FORCED GENT WEVELGEM COVID EXCLUSION
German cycling team Bora Hansgrohe say they are angry after becoming the second team to miss out on Sunday’s big race in Belgium due to Covid. Bora followed Trek-Segafredo into quarantine, but while Trek went voluntarily, a doctor’s ruling excluded Bora from the Gent-Wevelgem classic, who had wanted to take part.
“I am very disappointed and angry,” said Bora manager Ralph Denk.
“A GP from the region can block an entire team in one of the largest one-day races in the world.”
The decision was made by the doctor at a previous race from Friday, the E3 Saxo Bank Classic.
Denk accepted that one of his riders had tested positive and that he and his room-mate should have been excluded, but not the entire team. Race organizers told Bora on Sunday morning of the news that 17 people in their team had been designated as “high risk contact” and placed under a seven-day quarantine in a country staggering under a wave of Covid infections. Denk said his team were taking tests every day, and would have preferred to have been trusted.
“The part of the team that has been quarantined will be quarantined until April 1,” he said.
“This also means that we cannot start at Dwars Door Vlaanderen.”
Gent-Wevelgem officials said it was “not up to an organiser like ourselves to judge whether the quarantine is fair or not.”
Trek-Segafredo chose to withdraw under similar circumstances with one rider testing positive.
“The team has decided to withdraw from Gent-Wevelgem whilst we do further testing before we can safely return to competition,” the team said.
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini