The coronavirus crisis has caused the suspension of the Tour of United Arab Emirates, with two days to go and when he was led by the Englishman Adam Yates. The cycling test started last Sunday and celebrated on Thursday its fifth – and ultimately last day – with victory from Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, UAE Team Emirates. Sources of the organizing company, RCS, also responsible for the Giro d’Italia and tests such as the Tyrrhenian-Adriatic and the Milan-San Remo, confirmed its cancellation.
From the organization they reported that precisely two Italian masseuses of UAE Team Emirates, which has as general director Joxean Fernández Matxin, are those affected by coronavirus. They had fever and were subjected to the tests, which confirmed the contagion in both cases, which was decisive to suspend the race.
In addition to the cancellation of the two remaining stages, cyclists, mechanics and the rest of the staff of the teams – among which is also the Astana guipuzcoano Gorka Izagirre, the four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome, the Movistar, with Alejandro Valverde – were confined by order of the Abu Dhabi authorities in the hotel where they are staying, the Yas Marina, located next to the speed circuit. The same measure was adopted with members of the press and the organization, staying at the Crown Hotel, about five hundred meters from the first.
«We are resigned and prepared to wait for what is needed», confessed last night from Yas Marina the assistant of the team Trek Igor Díez Pereda, of Portugalete. The police, he explains, does not allow to enter or leave the hotel, in which there would be more than a dozen Spaniards. Among them, the Vizcaínos cyclists Iñigo Elosegui and Omar Fraile, the Alavés Víctor de la Parte, Carlos Rodríguez, Sergio Samitier, Carretero, Óscar Rodríguez, Jesús and José Herrada, Torres, Valls, Rojas, Navarro and Ventoso. Also international squad figures like Mark Cavendish or Ewan Caleb.
All of the people staying in both hotels began sanitary controls yesterday to rule out that they are infected by the virus and, if there are more infected, establish the precise protocol. It is not ruled out that they have to remain in quarantine. “The first thing is health,” said Froome. «We are all waiting for tests and will remain at the hotel until further notice. I hope that those affected recover quickly, ”he said.