COVID protocol lapses lead to team withdrawals at first race back

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CCC-Liv has pulled out of its planned participation in what would have been the team’s first two races of the resumed season amid coronavirus concerns.

Marianne Vos and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio were slated to headline the team at the Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa on Thursday and the Klasikoa Navarra on Friday, but CCC-Liv has withdrawn altogether.

“We have set ourselves a very strict health protocol in recent months. All this to minimize the risks of contamination with COVID-19. We were delighted to finally be able to race again; however on Wednesday, it turned out that the health risks in the Navarra region are too great,” said team manager Eric van den Boom in a statement.

“We’ve followed all protocols and know from the daily health monitoring of riders and staff that none of us are infected with COVID-19. Should we enter the race on Thursday, we will come into contact with riders who, as it turns out, might not have undergone the mandatory RT-PCR test. In addition, the number of infections at the location of the races has considerably increased in two days.”

On Wednesday, The Cyclists’s Alliance put out a statement questioning whether all teams in attendance at the races had adequately followed protocols in place for racing during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to TCA, “there is insufficient evidence that the Covid Protocol has been followed, and teams have not received details of the risk assessment from the race organizers” and “not all teams have done the RT PCR test” required by UCI guidelines.

The Cyclists’ Alliance also pointed to rising case numbers in Navarre as a cause for concern.

The race organization has since announced that it would only allow teams with proof of testing to start the Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa. The Bizkaia-Durango and Sopela teams have since pulled out of the race, with Bizkaia-Durango announcing that test results for its riders have not yet come back.

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