Lennard Hofstede to return to competition as Jumbo-Visma ease vaccination limitations

Jumbo-Visma have stated their athlete Lennard Hofstede will return to competition as he was separated from the team after refusing to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

The 27-year old Dutchman from Jumbo Visma is an important piece within Jumbo-Visma, having helped Primoz Roglic into his hattrick of Vuelta a España titles, and was revealed to have refused Covid-19 vaccination which was for several months put him out of contact with the rest of the team. Jumbo-Visma followed a strict schedule which saw most of it's leaders for three weeks atop Mount Teide in Tenerife, split into groups to minimize as much as possible the risk of an infection.

"We had regulations in different countries and UCI rules, we didn't want to take any risk at the time. With a view to vaccinations, we had a straightforward medical policy, that was before Omicron [variant]," team managed Merijn Zeeman in an interview with Wielerflits. Hofstede was reported to be excluded from the team's pre-season training camps, aswell as the racing schedule, that is however set to change as Zeeman adds that he's scheduled to return at the Minerva Classic Brugge-De Panne on 23rd of March.

The lesser gravity within cases of the recent Omicron variant has had the team change it's restrictions on Hofstede: "Most riders cannot train for a week, but then they pick up again. They recover well, in contrast to previous years. You can see that the bubble in the peloton no longer works, there are now many more infections during a race on a bicycle," he concluded.

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