Bahrain-McLaren pull out of Paris-Nice

Meanwhile Bora-Hansgrohe have put a staff member into isolation in France

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bahrain-McLaren have pulled out of Paris-Nice with three stages still to race.

The WorldTeam announced on Friday morning (March 13) that they had taken the decision because of the "rapidly escalating public health risks associated with the Covid-19."

Meanwhile Bora-Hansgrohe have announced that a staff member working on Paris-Nice who showed symptoms of a cold has been put into isolation as a precaution after testing negative for Covid-19.

All team personnel will be flown to their home countries because of the restrictions on movement being enforced in Europe and across the world.

The team said in a statement: "Bahrain-McLaren has with regret today withdrawn from the 2020 Paris-Nice road race.

"Following consultation with the team's riders, medical staff and other stakeholders, and in light of the rapidly escalating public health risks associated with the Covid-19 virus, the decision has been taken to repatriate all team personnel to their homes as soon as possible.

"Rolling restrictions on movement across Europe and the health of the entire team mean this precautionary measure is an immediate priority."

Concerns over the spread of coronavirus escalated on Thursday, as dozens of international sporting events were cancelled, including the E3 BinckBank Classic, Ghent-Wevelgem, as well as the Australian Grand Prix in Formula 1 and all professional tennis.

Paris-Nice has continued with the threat of cancellation hanging over it as Covid-19 has continued to spread in France, but the organisers have faced pressure to abandon the race to protect public health.

Bora-Hansgrohe announced on Friday morning that a member of team staff at Paris-Nice displayed symptoms of a cold and was tested by the team doctor and local authorities.

>>> Cycling and coronavirus: Everything you need to know 

Despite testing negative for coronavirus, the team member has been put into isolation as a precaution.

The team said: "According to the authorities, no further measures are necessary. The team has nevertheless decided to isolate employee as a precautionary step, and to continue actively monitoring the situation in order to ensure maximum safety for all concerned."

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.