While three cycling teams, including the French team Cofidis of Stéphane Rossetto, are still being held in Abu-Dhabi after the premature termination of the UAE Tour following the discovery of two positive cases of coronavirus, Pascal Chanteur, the president of the Union national professional cyclist, the union of riders, puts into perspective the inconvenience of riders still stranded in the United Arab Emirates.
Are you angry to see runners still stranded?
PASCAL SINGER. It is terribly boring sportingly but there are regulations specific to a country and we must respect them. Sport is just a microcosm in this story. And in the Gulf countries, sport is an incredible vehicle for communication. I understand that for these countries, contamination by sport would be very harmful. It is a sensitive subject there. We are required to follow the rules even if we can find them inconsistent.
That is to say ?
In the runners’ hotel, they were confined while many customers were allowed to go out. But I refuse to put the interests of cyclists above the rest in a health problem of this dimension. Especially since cycling weighs less than other sports.
Watch the discussions on the Lyon-Juventus match in the Champions League. We let a lot of Italians come because we can see that the football economy is important. What I design. In return, you have to be honest: cycling races, at this time of the season, bring in few spectators. After, it must also be said that we are making a world of this virus concerning athletes. They are, by definition, in good health and able to withstand this type of flu.