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Human Powered Health pull entire team out of Ruta del Sol

Spiking omicron cases is putting the peloton on edge ahead of the spring classics and major stage races.

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OTURA, Spain (VN) – Two teams — Human Powered Health and Gazprom — went home Friday from the Ruta del Sol due to spiking COVID-19 cases.

The U.S. squad was already short-handed when it started Monday’s Clásica Jaén Paraíso Interior, and a few more cases saw the team stretched too thin.

As VeloNews reported Monday, the latest wave of omicron infections is pushing the peloton to the limit.

Also read: Teams’ worries grow ahead of classics after mounting COVID cases

Teams are stretched thin as riders and staffers are testing positive for the latest strain of the coronavirus at much higher rates than anything seen in the first two years of the pandemic.

The larger WorldTour teams have deeper benches to be able to slot in additional riders to help fill vacancies.

Yet smaller ProTeam-level squads like Human Powered Health and Gazprom are pushed to the limit when riders become infected. Both teams started the Ruta del Sol with five riders each instead of the allowed seven.