Bora-Hansgrohe allowed to race again after being forced to quarantine 

The team previously said they were ‘disappointed and angry’ with the decision, saying it was unclear 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bora-Hansgrohe have been allowed to return to racing after they were forced to miss Ghent-Wevelgem due to their coronavirus quarantine.

The German WorldTour squad initially pulled out of the E3 Saxo Bank Classic last week after British rider Matt Walls tested positive for Covid-19.

After initially being given the green light to return to racing at Ghent-Wevelgem on Sunday (March 28), by both the UCI and the race organisers, the E3 race doctor then decided to impose a seven-day quarantine on the team, forcing them to miss Ghent-Wevelgem and Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday (March 31).

But the team have since been allowed to return to competition and will line up in Belgium for Dwars door Vlaanderen, with their sprinter Pascal Ackermann and Classics specialist Nils Politt.

Team manager Ralph Denk said: "This has been a difficult situation not only for us, but also for several others who have been involved. We are aware that health, whether of individual athletes or in society at large, must always come first. Nevertheless, professionals should be able to practice their profession unless there is an understandable reason to prohibit it.

“Matthew Walls and the two first category contacts of course remain in quarantine.

“All other riders and staff have tested negative (PCR) several times since Saturday and were officially released from quarantine today. I would like to thank all the authorities, Flanders Classics (Thomas Van den Spiegel), Belgian Cycling, the Covid coordinator Dr. Hans Bekkers and Vice President Ben Weyts, the person responsible for sport in Flanders, for their help. The effort that everyone has shown for the good of our sport cannot be taken for granted."

Denk previously said he was “angry and disappointed” by the decision to impose a week-long restriction, calling it unclear and arbitrary.

The race doctor opted to impose the quarantine as he deemed 17 members of Bora-Hansgrohe to be “high-risk” contacts after the coronavirus positive in the team.

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Denk said at the time: “A GP from the region can block an entire team in one of the largest one-day races in the world.

“Honestly, I can’t understand why other teams are allowed to race after similar cases. We tried everything last night, but the doctor didn’t even answer us anymore. It would be nice to at least understand how he has justified his decisions.”

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.