Alpecin-Fenix pull out of Volta a Catalunya due to positive Covid-19 tests

The Belgian team have already had to abandon the UAE Tour with a positive test in the team earlier this year

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Alpecin-Fenix will not be taking part in the 2021 Volta a Catalunya due to positive Covid-19 tests within the team.

The team announced in a statement on Twitter that they would not be racing in Spain, explaining that three members of the team returned positive results in their first batch of tests, forcing them to pull out.

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The statement said: "Alpecin-Fenix has decided, in accordance with the organisers of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, not to participate in the 100th edition of the race, in compliance with the health protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

"The team and race organisers have informed the UCI of the situation prior to taking this decision.

"Three members of Alpecin-Fenix recently returned positive test results. In order to minimise the risk of spreading the virus, it has been decided to isolate and quarantine all the team's staff that were supposed to travel to the Volta.

"Given that, it's impossible for our team to replace the entire staff before for the Volta. Therefore, in accordanace with the organisers, we will not be present at the centenary edition of the Volta.

"We want to emphasise that this decision was taken to protect the health of everyone involved and for the benefit of the cycling bubble, in order to ensure a safe beginning of the race.

"We wish the race organisation and the other teams a successful 100th Volta Ciclista a Catalunya and hope to be there next year for edition 101. Be safe and take care of each other!"

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This is the second race that the team has had to pull out of after a positive test within the team saw them abandon the UAE Tour after stage one, which was won by their star rider, Mathieu van der Poel.

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That turned out to be relatively easy to deal with as all the riders travelled back to Belgium and the Netherlands within the week, with Van der Poel going on to race the next weekend at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

The Volta a Catalunya is set to take place between March 22 and 28 with some of the world's biggest names taking to the start list, including Chris Froome (Israel Start-Up Nation), Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), and Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic).

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.