Now that Alpecin-Fenix and Mathieu van der Poel have left the UAE Tour due to a corona case within the team, the question immediately arises whether he can start next Saturday in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. That option is not excluded.
The biggest obstacle at the moment seems to be returning to Belgium. Article link https://www.news1.news/news/2021/02/can-mathieu-van-der-poel-start-in-omloop-het-nieuwsblad.html
The Dutch champion must receive approval from the authorities in the United Arab Emirates for this.
If Van der Poel himself is not infected, he will provisionally comply with the strict UCI Covid-19 protocol that applies to all WorldTour races. To participate in top level competitions, each rider must submit a negative PCR test once every six and once three days before the race.
For Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, those two test moments are Sunday (yesterday, ed.) And next Wednesday. In Belgium, riders who travel into the country shortly before the race must comply with additional measures imposed by the Ministry of Sport.
All riders who arrive in Belgium less than five days before the start of the race must undergo an extra rapid test on Friday (the day before the race), organized by race organizer Flanders Classics.
“We would like to have him at the start”, says Tomas van den Spiegel, CEO of Flanders Classics Cycling Flash. “And I think he likes to be there himself, because otherwise his preparation will be lost. Mathieu is one of the foundations of where we are going with cycling. A star for the next ten years. Of course we would like to have him there. ”
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