USA Cycling have said they are “working to bring all athletes, coaches, and support staff back to the United States from locations abroad” in light of the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent travel ban imposed.
President Trump announced a ban on those travelling from mainland Europe back to the United States in an effort to curtail the spread of the virus, with America’s cycling body mobilising to help all riders and teams who may be affected. They have also stopped all international travel for their staff and teams.
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No events inside the USA have been pre-emptively cancelled, due to the wide-ranging nature and different jurisdictions, USA Cycling say, although the Collegiate BMX National Championships has been postponed in accordance with a local public gathering ban. The Para-Road and Collegiate Road nationals are still scheduled to take place this weekend and will continue as planned with the rest of their schedule for the time-being.
Tejay Van Garderen abandoned Paris-Nice after stage five due to the travel ban, saying he didn’t want to risk being separated from his family.
“My wife and kids had plans to travel from the US to Nice for the final, but given the current circumstances I couldn’t risk being separated from them with no options of seeing them,” Van Garderen said.
“So I am returning to the US. I hope this situation will be resolved quickly and everyone can get back to normal life. I am hopeful this will all blow over and I can continue my season with the Tour de Romandie and beyond. Until then I will continue to train and stay ready. There is a lot of racing left in the season. But health, safety, and family come first.”
In a statement, USA Cycling said: “The health and safety of athletes, coaches, staff, members, and the broader cycling community is USA Cycling’s primary concern and we are monitoring the outbreak COVID-19 closely. We remain in close contact with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as well as our local health authorities in Colorado for guidance and instruction.”