Team BikeExchange-Jayco out of Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana after positive covid results

Australian team withdraw from race ahead of stage three

Team BikeExchange-Jayco
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Team BikeExchange-Jayco has pulled out of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana ahead of stage three after two positive covid results from within the team.

The Australian squad has been testing daily during races, and received the pair of positives on Thursday evening. It means they will miss the final three stages of the race.

Christopher Juul-Jensen had already withdrawn from the five-day race due to injury, and so the team might have been severely depleted with the covid withdrawals. It was not stated whether it was riders or staff members who tested positive.

Brent Copeland, the team's general manager, said that withdrawing the whole squad was the "only correct decision".

In a statement, he said: “The safety of all our riders and staff, and that of everyone involved in the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana is of the utmost importance, and we believe the only correct decision to be taken in these circumstances is to withdraw from the race.

“We would like to thank the race organisation for their understanding and support, and will continue to carry out our team policy to ensure the safest possible outcome.”

According to UCI protocols, riders must be fully vaccinated or present a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of the race start, in order to take part.

There is no requirement for a team to test its riders every day from the UCI, but this might differ based on team, race organiser, and nation protocols.

BikeExchange-Jayco was yet to impress at this year's Valenciana so far, with its best result on the first day being Damien Howson in 20th and Dion Smith in 35th crossing the line first for the team on the second stage.

Meanwhile, its new sprinter Dylan Groenewegen won his first race for the team at the Saudi Tour on stage three.

The press release said that Valenciana's race organisers were informed immediately. It continued: "The medical team are now working to move riders and staff safely to areas of quarantine where necessary, and to continue further testing."

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl have won both stages of the race so far, with Remco Evenepoel soloing to victory on stage one before Fabio Jakobsen comfortably outsprinted the field to claim stage two.

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