Coronavirus outbreak: Two riders test positive as UAE Tour cancelled

Two Italian cyclists competing in the UAE Tour have tested positive for coronavirus, leading to the event being cancelled with two stages remaining.

Other riders at the event, including Britain’s Chris Froome and Adam Yates, are now being tested for the virus.

“Safety comes at the top of all priorities,” race organisers Abu Dhabi Sports Council said.

Yates led after the fifth stage before teams and riders announced late on Thursday the race had been cancelled.

“It’s a shame that the UAE Tour has been cancelled but public health must come first,” Froome tweeted.

“We’re awaiting testing and will remain at the hotel until further notice.”

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More than 80,000 people in nearly 50 countries have been infected by coronavirus.

Nearly 2,800 have died, with the majority of the deaths in China.

Italy and Iran have become major centres of infection, with people travelling from those countries spreading the virus further afield.

The UAE’s ministry of health and prevention said all riders, administrative staff and organisers will be examined through “continuous periodic screening” and quarantine measures will be taken to “curb the spread of its outbreak”.

Four-time Tour de France winner Froome was back racing for the first time since breaking his leg at the Criterium du Dauphine in June last year.

“I hope those affected make a speedy recovery and there aren’t any further cases,” he added.

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