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The team said in a statement: "Bahrain-McLaren has with regret today withdrawn from the 2020 Paris-Nice road race.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

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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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