COVID-19 scare extends teams’ lockdown - GulfToday

COVID-19 scare extends teams’ lockdown


Chris Froome’s Team Ineos and a majority of the other riders were given the all-clear to leave the quarantined areas on Sunday.

Two French cycling teams described their continued coronavirus quarantine in the UAE as confusing on Monday after swathes of other competitors were allowed home.

Chris Froome’s Team Ineos and a majority of the other riders were given the all-clear to leave quarantine on Sunday.

The lockdown started last Thursday when two mechanics attached to the UAE Emirates Team were suspected to have contracted the new coronavirus, and the last two stages of the race were cancelled.

But as Ineos, Movistar, Jumbo-Visma and other teams all began to make relieved tweets on the plane home, it emerged that Cofidis and Groupama-FDJ remained in lockdown along with UAE Team and Russian outfit Gazprom.

FDJ rider Arnaud Demare said his team had been housed on the same floor of the Crowne Plaza hotel at Yas Island Abu Dhabi as the UAE Team.

“The others from the other floors were allowed home Sunday but everybody was eating and mixing together in the same place on Friday and Saturday,” Demare said.

“We’re all stuck in our rooms, there was cycling on the TV this weekend and we’ve been working out and watching Netflix,” Demare said.

His team boss Marc Madiot, a major figure in the cycling peloton, said the situation was “starting to drag on”.

Cofidis boss Cedric Vasseur said his team felt unfairly treated.

“We are waiting for a second set of tests, but we have already had one series of tests come back negative,” he said. “We don’t understand.”

The journalists who were confined to a separate hotel are also believed to still be under lockdown.

And the UAE’s Team Emirates said that although their results came back negative “our team has decided to extend their stay in the UAE to continue testing everyone’s conditions.”

Danish cyclist Michael Morkov of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step team, who took part in the first four stages, was placed in isolation in his hotel room after arriving in Berlin to take part in the world track championships.

However, Morkov won the men’s madison title after being cleared to take part in the championships.

He said just a day after being released from coronavirus quarantine: “From not being able to race to becoming world champion in my absolute favourite discipline is indescribable.”

“Two days ago I was doubting I could start the race. I’m feeling on top of the world now,” he added.

The 34-year-old was cleared to take part on Saturday and repeated his feat of 11 years ago by clinching victory.

European champions Morkov and Hansen beat New Zealand’s Campbell Stewart and Aaron Gate in second and Germany’s title holders Roger Kluge and Theo Reinhardt who finished third in the non-Olympic event.

Morkov joked he would go into confinement again if it meant further success.

UAE authorities have said they are awaiting the outcome of a second series of tests before allowing the teams to depart.

Agence France-Presse

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