Bora-Hansgrohe pull out of E3 Saxo Bank Classic due to positive Covid test

The German team announced they would not be riding just hours before the race start

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bora-Hansgrohe have been forced to pull out of this year's E3 Saxo Bank Classic due to a positive Covid-19 test for one of their riders.

British sprinter Matt Walls was a replacement rider for Lukas Pöstlberger but he later tested positive meaning the whole team had to abandon the race.

>>> ‘I’m getting better all the time’: Geraint Thomas pleasantly surprised by encouraging early-season form

The team released a statement saying: "After Matthew Walls' positive test result was received and confirmed by a second test, several PCR test were carried out on all other team members yesterday, all of which were negative.

"Despite this, according to the instructions of the Belgian Cycling Federation, the team is not allowed to take part in today's race."

While his team-mates didn't test positive they still had to pull out of the racing, which will be a disappointment for the team's leader, Nils Politt, who was showing some good form in recent races.

The rest of the team that has been forced to leave the race are Daniel Oss, Juraj Sagan, Patrick Gamper, and Maciej Bodnar as well as all the staff members.

Star rider, Peter Sagan and his brother Juraj have both suffered from Covid-19 at a training camp. This hampered the former world champion's build-up to his season, forcing him to race Tirreno-Adriatico before Milan-San Remo and then go to the Volta a Catalunya instead of E3 and Ghent-Wevelgem.

>>> ‘They’re not intimidated, they’re like seasoned professionals straight away’: Enthusiasm of young American riders ‘inspiring’, says Brent Bookwalter

Twenty-two-year-old Walls is making his WorldTour debut season for Bora-Hansgrohe this year and has already put in a couple of great rides with two top-10s in sprints at the Tour de la Provence but he has struggled in recent races.

Bora-Hansgrohe aren't the first team to have to pull out of races, Alpecin-Fenix has had to abandon two races, the Belgian team had to abandon after stage one of the UAE Tour and also had to pull out of the Volta a Catalunya due to positive tests.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

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.