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Coronavirus: Cofidis and Groupama-FDJ out of UAE quarantine

Riders and staff had been kept in lockdown in hotel for almopst a fortnight

Riders and staff from the Cofidis and Groupama-FDJ cycling teams are heading home today after being released from quarantine in Abu Dhabi.

The French UCI WorldTour teams were among four that shared the same floor of an Abu Dhabi hotel that has been in lockdown since two cases of coronavirus were diagnosed in staff from UAE Team Emirates during the UAE Tour at the end of February.

The discovery led to the final two stages of the race being cancelled and all riders and staff involved on the race, as well as journalists, being held in their hotels last weekend to be tested for the virus before they were allowed to return home.

Members of the Russian UCI Professional Continental Team, Gazprom, remain quarantined, as do those from UAE Team Emirates.

Last Tuesday, it was announced that six more people involved with the race – two Italians, two Russians, a German and a Colombian – had tested positive for the virus.

The virus has led to the cancellation of the spring racing programme in Italy, including leading races such as Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo.

Across the border in France, Paris-Nice has got under way today, but with protocols in place to try and stop the potential spreading of infection.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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