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Greg van Avermaet clear to race spring campaign without vaccine booster after contracing Covid-19 in November

Greg van Avermaet says he is clear to race the full spring campaign through to Paris-Roubaix despite not having received his third Covid-19 vaccine dose.

Belgian Van Avermaet has previously attracted attention for his hesitancy over vaccination, claiming that his second dose last summer affected his cycling performance.

The AG2R Citroen Team rider had expressed his desire to delay his third dose until after the 2022 Classics campaign, but the French government has since introduced regulations requiring all athletes wishing to compete in the country to have a third dose of the vaccine, four months from the second dose, from February 15.

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Yet while this would appear to effect Van Avermaet’s participation in April’s Paris-Roubaix, Van Avermaet insists he will be able to race after contracting Covid-19 in November. His recovery from the virus therefore works as a substitute for a booster shot in his paperwork.

“I don’t know why I’m always getting these questions about vaccination,” he said. “But I’m all fine. I’m fine. I have my Covid passport. I’m clear. I’m vaccinated. No worries.

“I have my certificate of recovery. It covers Roubaix, so there’s no problem.”

Indeed, French government regulations appear to indicate that proof of a prior infection in the past six months would count.

But Van Avermaet dismissed the focus on his vaccination status.

“I just don’t understand,” he added. “Because I’m vaccinated and have my thing of having Covid myself, so I don’t understand. I don’t know why people ask me. It’s probably because I said that I was having lesser performances after my vaccination.”

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