Matthew Walls tests positive for coronavirus at E3 as Bora-Hansgrohe team pull out

Matthew Walls

Bora-Hansgrohe have pulled out of Friday’s E3 Saxo Bank Classic race after Britain’s Matthew Walls tested positive for coronavirus.

Walls, 22, was due to take part in the one-day race in Belgium alongside Ineos Grenadiers’ Tom Pidcock.

The race also has a line-up including two of cycling’s best riders in Wout van Aert of Jumbo-Visma and Mathieu van der Poel of Alpecin-Fenix.

“The team is not allowed to take part in today’s race,” said a statement.

Sprinter Walls’ positive test result was then followed up by a second positive test.

“Several PCR tests were carried out on all other team members yesterday, all of which were negative,” the team added. “Despite this, according to the instructions of the Belgian Cycling Federation, the team is not allowed to take part.”

Before Friday’s Volta a Catalunya stage five, the Equipo Kern Pharma team pulled out because of two positive coronavirus test results.

Britain’s Adam Yates of Ineos currently leads the general classification by 45 seconds.

Meanwhile, Tour de France organisers ASO have announced the race’s ‘grand depart’ will take place in Bilbao, northern Spain, in 2023.

The second stage will also take place in the Basque country.

This year’s race will begin in Brittany on 26 June after the grand depart in Copenhagen was pushed back to 2022 because of the pandemic.

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