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Marianne Vos to sit out Liège-Bastogne-Liège as COVID-19 recovery continues

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig will also miss the race following a positive COVID-19 test earlier in April.

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Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) will have to sit Liège-Bastogne-Liège as she continues to recover from COVID-19.

Vos, who had already had to miss the Trofeo Alfredo Binda earlier in the spring due to a cold, tested positive for coronavirus on the morning of Paris-Roubaix Femmes last week. She had been a major favorite for the race after finishing second to Lizzie Deignan last year.

It was the second positive test within the Jumbo-Visma camp this spring with Wout van Aert being forced to miss the Tour of Flanders after contracting the virus.

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Van Aert was able to return to racing at Paris-Roubaix, due to the event being held a week later than usual. Unfortunately for Vos, Liège-Bastogne-Liège has come too quickly following her positive test and she is unable to race.

“Getting ready to race those cobbles, a positive test crossed the plans. I have to admit that my first thought when I saw the result was: can I get around this? But immediately I realised, ‘no’.
Racing is beautiful, but health always comes first,” Vos wrote on her Instagram feed earlier this week. “Luckily until now the symptoms are mild and hopefully I will be soon on the road again.”

It means that Jumbo-Visma will race Sunday with just five riders, as it did last week at Roubaix. Lining up for the team will be Karlijn Swinkels, Anouska Koster, Amber Kraak, Anna Henderson, and Aafke Soet. It’s not clear who the leader will be, but the team will be hoping to fare better than it did last week when it missed out on a top 10 finish.

Vos is not the only rider who has been forced to miss Liège-Bastogne-Liège due to a positive COVID-19 test. FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope will be without Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig this weekend.

The Dane tested positive for the virus the day before the Amstel Gold Race and has not competed since. She had been on the provisional start list for Sunday’s race, but she has since been replaced with French rider Jade Wiel.

FDJ is looking to complete the Ardennes triple, something only one woman has done previously, with Marta Cavalli. The Italian racer has already notched up wins at the Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne this spring and is a big favorite for victory this Sunday.

Despite missing Uttrup Ludwig, the team still has a strong lineup to back Cavalli this weekend. Making up the team’s six-rider squad is Brodie Chapman, who has been one of the stars of the spring, Grace Brown, French champion Evita Muzic, and Stine Borgli.