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Team Jumbo-Visma pulled out of the Tour de Suisse ahead of stage 5 on Thursday due to an outbreak of COVID-19 within the squad.
The team did not disclose the identities or the numbers of riders who tested positive for the virus. Heading into the stage, Sepp Kuss was poised in seventh overall, at just 10 seconds off the race lead.
“Team Jumbo-Visma will not appear at the start of the fifth stage of the Tour de Suisse today,” the team said in a statement released on Thursday morning.
“The reason is that despite all precautions, corona has crept into the team again. In the interest of the health of the riders and staff and to protect the peloton and the race, the Dutch formation’s medical and sporting management consider withdrawing from the Swiss race the wisest decision. The decision was taken in consultation with the Tour management. Team Jumbo-Visma doesn’t reveal who became a victim of the COVID infection.”
This isn’t the first time that COVID has had a major impact on the team. They pulled out of the Giro d’Italia in 2020 due to cases within the team.
Several riders at the Tour de Suisse were in contention for a spot on Jumbo-Visma’s Tour de France team, including Kuss and Australian time trial specialist Rohan Dennis. The team admitted that the COVID outbreak could have an impact on Tour de France selections late down the line, but time was needed before any decisions would be made on that front.
“For the time being, the situation has no consequences for the Tour de France shortlist, although we have to wait and see what happens in the next few days,” the team said.
“The adequate action of Team Jumbo-Visma is based on the daily testing of riders and staff so that a possible corona case can be isolated as soon as possible. The use of mouth masks, air purification columns and single rooms is still common practice on the team.”