Riders and team staff from Groupama-FDJ and Cofidis are to be released from their quarantine in Abu Dhabi hotels.
The two teams were placed under lockdown by local health authorities after an outbreak of coronavirus in the UAE Tour peloton. It came to light earlier this week that positive cases of the illness had been found on the same hotel floor as that of Groupama-FDJ, Cofidis and Gazprom-Rusvelo, all of whom were placed in lockdown.
Groupama-FDJ confirmed their good news Sunday on Twitter, saying:
“Yes, you got it right: there is good news coming from the UAE! Since they all have been tested negative for Covid-19 for the 3rd time, our 12 team members have been allowed to fly back home!”
Yes, you got it right: there is good news coming from the UAE!
Since they all have been tested negative for covid-19 for the 3rd time, our 12 team members have been allowed to fly back home!
— Équipe Cycliste Groupama-FDJ (@GroupamaFDJ) March 8, 2020
Cedric Vasseur, manager of Cofidis, also confirmed the news on Twitter, saying (translated):
“End of quarantine Team Cofidis UAE Tour. Thank you so much to everyone who worked day and night to anticipate the return of the team and make them smile again. Thank you.”
Fin de quarantaine @TeamCOFIDIS @uae_tour MERCI infiniment à tous ceux qui ont œuvré jour et nuit pour anticiper le retour de l’équipe et leur redonner le sourire. MERCI @LucaPapini @rcssport @uae_tour @DLappartient @Amina_Lanaya @UCI_cycling @TeamCOFIDIS #CofidisMyTeam #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/PJQinxVJPD
— Cédric Vasseur (@cedvasseur) March 8, 2020
Cofidis and Groupama-FDJ were due to be quarantined through March 14 as they served the regulation 14-day lockdown period. Though an exact release date has not been confirmed, on receiving the all-clear from a third test for Covid-19, it appears likely the teams will be released ahead of schedule.The status of ProTour team Gazprom’s lockdown is still unknown.
The coronavirus crisis has seen the cancellation of WorldTour races Strade Bianche, Milano-Sanremo and Tirreno Adriatico in the last week. Paris-Nice will still get underway as planned Sunday, though race organizers ASO have imposed a series of additional health and safety measures to ensure rider and public safety.