Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) has contracted Covid-19 just two days after celebrating a comeback stage win at the Tour de Wallonie.
The Frenchman marked his return to action, three months after a heavy crash at Liege–Bastogne–Liege, when finishing first atop the Mur de Huy on Saturday.
But on Monday, Alaphilippe was forced to withdraw from the Tour de Wallonie in Belgium after testing positive for Covid.
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Alaphilippe is therefore likely to miss the Clasica San Sebastian this weekend.
The world champion suffered two broken ribs, a punctured lung and a fractured scapula in the Liege–Bastogne–Liege crash in April, ruling him out of the Tour de France.
Alaphilippe had almost returned in time for the Tour, where he has won stages in editions from 2018 to 2021, but Quick-Step did not want to rush his comneback.
"The decision to leave Julian home was a very difficult one,” said sports director Tom Steels.

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"Julian worked hard to get back into shape after what happened to him in Liege, but it is felt that for a rider like him it’s always important to be on top of his game and be able to compete with the best riders of the peloton in a race like Le Tour.
"That’s why we decided to give him more time to recover and build back his condition, so that he can be at 100 per cent for the second part of the season."
Alaphilippe added: “I completely understand this, because I too don’t want to be at the start if I can’t be at my best level."
Ahead of his return to action in Belgium, Alaphilippe told L’Equipe: “It’s not that I’m scared, but I think on some descents, some things may have changed a bit, these may be things that will seem weird at first.”
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