Organisers say Milan - San Remo, Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico are going ahead as planned

RCS emailed teams on Monday morning with the good news, although said the situation could change at any moment

Milan – San Remo 2019 (Marco Bertorello/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

Milan - San Remo, Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico are to go ahead as planned despite coronavirus fears, race orgainsers RCS have said.

An email was sent out to all participating teams on Monday morning, Het Laatste Nieuws reports, following doubts the Italian races scheduled for March would be postponed after the  coronavirus outbreak in the Southern European countries. A number of sporting events in Italy have been cancelled as authorities look to contain the spread of the virus, including Serie A football games, while certain areas in the Lombardy region have also been placed on lockdown.

RCS has added the caveat that the situation could still change and then cancellations or alterations could be required, with Italy experiencing a 50% increase in confirmed coronavirus cases over the weekend.

The Italian sport company, who also organises the Giro d'Italia, saw many of their employees placed under quarantine at the UAE Tour, with fears their March events could be cancelled if their organisation remained trapped in a hotel on another continent.

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However, although some teams remain on lockdown and requiring re-testing after people on their hotel floor were believed to have returned positive tests, a number of those involved in the Middle Eastern stage race have been allowed to return home after testing negative for the virus.

The coronavirus, first identified in China, has seen a number of Chinese races removed from the cycling calendar, including the Tour of Chongming Island and the Tour of Hainan. Meanwhile, all but one Chinese team pulled out of the Tour de Langkawi, with all other staff and riders made to undergo health screening upon entering the country.

Any riders or team staff arriving from China were made to have full medical check-ups and their medical records were examined, while facemasks and hand sanitiser were provided to all people working at the race as an extra precaution.

In a statement, the UCI said: "The UCI is following the evolution of this epidemic and the potential consequences for the organisation of international competitions on a daily basis. It is also concerned with protecting riders from all risk of contamination and avoiding the spread of coronavirus to other countries."

Jonny Long

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