The UCI has postponed three upcoming Chinese races due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Tour of Chongming Island, the Tour of Zhoushan Island and the women’s Tour of Taiyuan, planned to take place in April and May, are the races that have been postponed. Cycling’s governing body will now decide on March 15 which races will be cancelled and which races will have space found for them in the calendar later in the year.
75,000 cases of coronavirus have so far resulted in over 2,000 deaths, with the cancellation of bike races and other sporting events one of many measures being taken to try and halt the spread of the virus.
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.”
In January the week-long Tour of Hainan was postponed because of concerns over the virus and the UCI has approved the race’s date change from late February to another date in 2020 depending on calendar availability.
At the time of the postponement, Israel Start-Up Nation said in a statement the decision was “totally understandable. The world is a global village, for good and for bad.”
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Tour de Langkawi stage race saw a number of Chinese teams pull out, 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.
The one remaining Chinese team, SSIOS Miogee, were able to take part as they didn’t use any Chinese riders and staff. Two of their Dutch riders had to arrive with last season’s kit and bring their own gels and nutrition from home and hire replacement team staff from the south-east Asian peninsula.