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.

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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.

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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.

Tim Bonville-Ginn
Tim Bonville-Ginn

Tim Bonville-Ginn is 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.

Bonville-Ginn started working in cycling journalism while still at school and university for a voluntary site based on Twitter before also doing slots for Eurosport's online web team and has been on location at the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Britain, UCI World Championships and various track events. He then joined the Cycling Weekly team in late February of 2020.

When not writing stories for the site, Bonville-Ginn doesn't really switch off his cycling side as he watches every race that is televised as well as being a rider himself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager.

He rides a Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on his local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being his preferred terrain.