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VN news ticker: Lizzie Deignan, Ruth Winder, Team DSM, Parkhotel Valkenburg out of women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Here's the news making headlines for Sunday, April 25.

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Defending champion Lizzie Deignan out of Liège-Bastogne-Liège

There will be no defending champion at the women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday.

Team Trek-Segafredo confirmed its line-up for the race Saturday, and 2020 champ Lizzie Deignan was absent. The U.S-registered squad still packs a strong selection including Lucinda Brand, Elisa Longo Borghini, and Tayler Wiles.

Deignan is reported to be feeling sick, but not suffering from COVID-19.

The former world champ has been struggling for her usual form so far this season, with 12th at Trofeo Binda late March her best result to date. The 32-year-old has not raced since the Tour of Flanders at the start of this month.

Ruth Winder out of Liège due to COVID contact

In further bad news for Trek-Segafredo, U.S champ Ruth Winder will not start Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday. The team confirmed the news Sunday morning.

“Unfortunately Ruth Winder will not be starting Liège-Bastogne-Liège as she has been deemed a close contact of someone outside of the team bubble who has since tested positive for coronavirus,” read the team’s statement on Twitter.

“Ruth has returned three negative tests but, in line with our protocol, she has been withdrawn from the race and put into isolation. The rest of our women’s and men’s team, as well as all team staff, also all returned negative tests.”

Winder was carrying form into Sunday’s race after winning Brabantse Pijl earlier this month and placing seventh at Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday.

Team DSM, Parkhotel Valkenburg withdraw from women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège due to COVID

Team DSM and Parkhotel Valkenburg will not start the women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday morning.

Team DSM confirmed Saturday that their team, slated to include ​​Coryn Rivera, Leah Kirchmann and Liane Lippert, would not start Sunday’s monument.

“After undergoing all regular pre-race COVID-19 tests, a member of the team returned a positive test,” read a team statement. “A decision has been made by the team to completely withdraw their women’s program ahead of Liège-Bastogne-Liège tomorrow, in order to protect the race bubble; a decision that the UCI and ASO support after being informed. All team members feel well and show no symptoms, and more tests will decide further race participations.”

Elsewhere, reports that Parkhotel Valkenburg has also withdrawn from the race due to two staff members and a rider testing positive for coronavirus in pre-race checks. None of the trio were reported to be suffering symptoms of the virus.