Wout van Aert at Gent-Wevelgem.

Wout van Aert will miss the Tour of Flanders due to COVID-19

Wout van Aert has confirmed that he will not race the Tour of Flanders.

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Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) has confirmed that he will not race the upcoming Tour of Flanders due to a bout with COVID-19.

Van Aert’s participation in the race was put in doubt on Thursday when news emerged that Van Aert was not feeling well. As he announced via social media on Friday, he underwent tests for COVID-19, which came back positive.

“Yesterday morning, I woke up with a sore throat. Two quick tests proved I tested positive for COVID-19,” Van Aert said. “Two PCR tests confirmed it, so there is no chance for me to be at the start. The good news is that I only have mild symptoms, a sore throat and a mild cold. It strengthens my hope that I will recover and get back into action soon.”

Van Aert would have started the race among the very top favorites after his winning rides at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the E3 Saxo Bank Classic. Instead, Jumbo-Visma will look to other riders in Sunday’s race, with the in-form Christophe Laporte and Tiesj Benoot set to lead the way.

Van Aert said that he would be his teammates’ “biggest fan” this weekend, and that he will be focusing on recovering from his illness before making any pronouncements about a return date.

“Thanks to everyone for the big support messages the last few days,” Van Aert said. “Reading them gave me a lot of pleasure. That’s why I thought it was important to hear from me. And hopefully I will see you soon.”

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