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Defending champion Pedersen not in Gent-Wevelgem due to positive tests in team | NOW

Mads Pedersen cannot defend his title in Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday. Trek-Segafredo, the team of the former world champion, has withdrawn from the Belgian classic due to two positive corona tests.

Trek-Segafredo reports on Saturday in a statement that a team member tested positive on Friday. That person then went into isolation, as did anyone who had had a close contract with him or her.

The entire crew then underwent another PCR test and another positive case emerged. Trek-Segafredo then decided not to let the whole team start in Gent-Wevelgem.

Pedersen won the WorldTour race last year by beating Florian Sénéchal and Matteo Trentin in the sprint of a small group. The Dane was already the best in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne this year and finished second in the Bredene Koksijde Classic last week.

In addition to Pedersen, the Dutchman Koen de Kort, the Belgians Jasper Stuyven and Edward Theuns, the Americans Kiel Reijnen and Quinn Simmons and the Irishman Ryan Mullen on behalf of Trek-Segafredo would also start in Gent-Wevelgem.

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Mathieu van der Poel, who finished ninth last year, will skip Gent-Wevelgem this season. Wout van Aert is on the start list.

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