Cyclist Mathieu van der Poel lands in the Netherlands on Tuesday. The driver, like his teammates Roy Jans, Jasper Philipsen, Kristian Sbaragli and Louis Vervaeke, turned out not to be ‘close contact’ of the positively tested staff member of his team Alpecin-Fenix in the Tour of the United Arab Emirates.
Van der Poel and the aforementioned teammates were tested negative on Sunday and Monday and then boarded the plane on Monday evening, Alpecin-Fenix reports. The rest of the team remains in quarantine in the United Arab Emirates, because they were a ‘close contact’ with the positively tested staff member.
Van der Poel withdrew from the Tour of the United Arab Emirates with his team Alpecin-Fenix on Monday. One of the employees of the Belgian formation tested positive for the corona virus on Sunday evening.
Van der Poel won the first stage on Sunday, but he could not start on Monday in the red leader’s jersey. Van der Poel wanted to get in shape for the spring classics in the Tour of the Emirates, his first race of this year on the road. The all-rounder on the bicycle won his fourth world title cyclocross at the end of last month in Ostend.
Van der Poel preferred the stage race in the Middle East to the Belgian opening weekend, with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Saturday) and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (Sunday). It is unclear whether he now wants to start for those games.