What's the story?
The 2020 UAE Tour was abandoned on February 27 as two Italian riders tested positive for the coronavirus.
Initially, the 2020 UAE Tour was scheduled between 23–29 February and was supposed to have a total of seven stages. The second-ever edition of the UAE Tour was the third race of the 2020 Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) World Tour.
Overall, 20 teams were invited for the cycling event with each team consisting of seven riders. Eighteen of the UCI WorldTeams took part in the event. These include AG2R La Mondiale, Deceuninck–Quick-Step, NTT Pro Cycling, Astana, Groupama–FDJ, Team Ineos, Bahrain–McLaren, Israel Start-Up Nation, Team Jumbo–Visma, Bora–Hansgrohe, Lotto–Soudal, Team Sunweb, CCC Team, Mitchelton–Scott, Trek–Segafredo, Cofidis, Movistar Team, and UAE Team Emirates.
Two UCI professional continental teams, namely Gazprom–RusVelo and Vini Zabù–KTM, also took part in the UAE Tour.
The heart of the matter
The UAE tour was officially abandoned after five stages itself when two of the Italian riders tested positive. In an official statement to the WAM news agency, the Abu Dhabi Sports Council stated:
"The remaining stages of the UAE Tour are cancelled after two cyclists from Italy tested positive for the new coronavirus. The decision has been taken to ensure protection of all the race's participants. Safety comes at the top of all priorities."
So far Italy has seen over 650 people infected from the deadly virus and 17 deaths have been attributed to it in the country. All of the participants, which includes a total of 24 Italians, will be tested for the virus.
The seven stages of the UAE Tour were supposed to be a total of 1120 km. However, after the completion of five stages (total of 835km), the race stands abandoned.
As a consequence, Briton Adam Yates, who was in the lead in the general classification after the conclusion of the five stages, has been declared as the winner. Yates' Mitchelton-Scott team tweeted:
Meanwhile, Slovenian Tadej Pogačar of UAE Team Emirates finished second and Kazakhstan's Alexey Lutsenko of Team Astana came in at third position.
The 2020 UAE Tour joins the long list of sports events that have been affected by the Coronavirus.Published 28 Feb 2020, 15:53 IST