‘There’s security guards, all the doors are shut': Three teams still locked down in quarantine after UAE Tour

Rider Nathan Haas says they still don’t know why they are being held

Riders are still being held in quarantine in their hotel rooms over concerns about coronavirus after the UAE Tour.

The final two stages of the Middle East WorldTour race were abandoned after two suspected cases of the Covid-19 virus were reported, with all riders, staff and media being tested for the illness.

A majority of the teams were allowed to leave the race by Sunday (March 1), but three teams are still being held in their hotel rooms on Tuesday.

The teams under quarantine, Cofidis, Groupama-FDJ and Gazprom-RusVelo, are behind held because were staying on the same floor as the two Italian staff members who were initially suspected to have virus.

In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live , Australian Cofidis rider Nathan Haas said: “It’s a very surreal experience I have to admit. It’s also quite frustrating as there have been no positive cases. Everything has come back negative.

“Unfortunately for whatever reason we’re still locked up in quarantine."

Haas and his team-mates have been forced to find alternative ways of training, as they are unable to get out on their bikes and have no indoor trainers with them.

He has documented his new intensive workout regime in a YouTube video.

The situation began to unfold on after stage five of the race on Thursday, when authorities in the UAE announced that two Italian staff members from an unnamed team had tested positive for coronavirus.

All 600 riders, organisers, team staff, and media were put under quarantine and tested for the virus, but the situation descended into confusion after reports emerged that the two Italian staff members had actually tested negative for the virus.

>>> Cofidis sports director threatens to go on hunger strike if UAE Tour quarantine continues 

The three teams are still being kept in their hotel in Abu Dhabi and are unsure when they will be able to leave.

Haas added: “There’s actually security guards everywhere. All the doors are shut.

“This is the most critical time of the year coming up to the early-season Classics, which is really my bread and butter.

“It’s highly frustrating and from a professional perspective our team is really hurting because we’re being disadvantaged.”

FDJ sprinter Arnaud Démare shared his frustration on Instagram, saying he was struggling to keep up his morale, being unable to train with just 17 days until Milan-San Remo.

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