The former cross-world champion was the great favorite on the victory at the spring classic, which is quasi in his Belgian homeland as a national holiday. Van Aert had presented himself in a magnificent constitution this year, won the two one-day race omloop Het Nieuwsblad and E3 prize and also knew at the Tour Paris Nice.
On Thursday he woke up with sore throat, two quick tests had a positive result. Finally, two positive PCR tests brought that out.
“The good news is that I only have light symptoms. That strengthens my hope that I can quickly reach myself and return to the competition,” Van Aert said. The Dutch Mathieu van der Poel and Tour-de-France Champion Tadej Pogacar from Slovenia should now have the best chances of winning.