EF Education-EasyPost, UAE Team Emirates and BORA-hansgrohe are the latest teams to be hit by a Covid-19 outbreak and have withdraw riders from Tour de Suisse and the Tour of Slovenia.
Team manager of EF Education-EasyPost Jonathan Vaughters took to social media to state that four riders had tested positive and would be sent home, adding that the remaining two riders would be given the opportunity to start Stage 6 of the 85th running of the Tour de Suisse after they returned multiple negative tests.
"So I’m writing this on behalf of the EF Education-EasyPost,” began Vaughters.
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“As per team protocol, we have been Covid testing all riders and staff. This morning four riders tested positive. No staff tested positive. Those riders will be sent home, in a safe way, today.
“We have decided to give the option of starting to the remaining two riders, with the consent of our medical staff. Along with our support staff, these riders have no symptoms and multiple negative tests during this Tour de Suisse. However, we will continue testing twice per day.”
UAE Team Emirates also announced positive Covid tests, with Marc Hirschi testing positive at the Tour de Suisse and Mikkel Bjerg in Slovenia.
“UAE Team Emirates were hit by two cases of Covid-19 within 24 hours through Marc Hirschi in the Tour de Suisse and Mikkel Bjerg at the Tour of Slovenia. Both riders have therefore been withdrawn from competition,” said a statement.
“All other team-mates and staff at both events were immediately tested and all returned negative tests.
“Joel Suter (roommate of Hirschi) and Vegard Stake Laengen (roommate of Bjerg) both returned negative tests, but will both be removed from racing as a precautionary measure.”
BORA-hansgrohe would later announce that Aleksandr Vlasov and Anton Palzer had been withdrawn from the Tour de Suisse after positive tests during routine testing
The news comes a day after Ineos Grenadiers' Adam Yates and all of Team Jumbo-Visma did not start the fifth stage of the Tour de Suisse owing to Covid.
The decision to withdraw was “in the interest of the health of the riders and staff and to protect the peloton and the race” said the Dutch team.
Later in the day, Ineos Grenadiers confirmed that Yates, who was sitting 10th overall after four stages of the Tour de Suisse, left the team "after experiencing mild symptoms and returning a positive lateral flow test."
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