TAIPEI (AFP) – The German national cycling team has dropped out of the Tour de Taiwan this month due to concerns over possible radiation risk caused by the Japanese nuclear crisis, the organizer said Friday.
“The cyclists said they were advised by German authorities to avoid visiting the Asia Pacific, not least Taiwan, which is so close to Japan,” said Sara Chen, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Taipei Cycling Association.
Among the six team members was Dirk Mueller, a member of Team Nutrixxion Sparkasse and winner of the 2010 Tour de China.
Eighteen teams from 14 countries, including Britain, Japan and Malaysia, will still compete in the Tour de Taiwan set for March 19-28, Chen said.
The Taiwanese government has assured the public that radiation from Japan’s quake-hit nuclear power plant is unlikely to affect the island.