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Paris (AFP) – Two French cycling teams described their continued coronavirus quarantine in the United Arab Emirates as confusing on Monday after swathes of other competitors were allowed home.
Chris Froome’s Team Ineos and a majority of the other riders were given the all-clear to leave quarantine on Sunday.
The lockdown started last Thursday when two mechanics attached to the UAE Emirates Team were suspected to have contracted the new coronavirus, and the last two stages of the race were cancelled.
But as Ineos, Movistar, Jumbo-Visma and other teams all began to make relieved tweets on the plane home, it emerged that Cofidis and Groupama-FDJ remained in lockdown along with UAE Team and Russian outfit Gazprom.
FDJ rider Arnaud Demare said his team had been housed on the same floor of the Crowne Plaza hotel at Yas Island Abu Dhabi as the UAE Team.
“The others from the other floors were allowed home Sunday but everybody was eating and mixing together in the same place on Friday and Saturday,” Demare said.
“We’re all stuck in our rooms, there was cycling on the TV this weekend and we’ve been working out and watching Netflix,” Demare said.
His team boss Marc Madiot, a major figure in the cycling peloton, said the situation was “starting to drag on”.
Cofidis boss Cedric Vasseur said his team felt unfairly treated.
“We are waiting for a second set of tests, but we have already had one series of tests come back negative,” he said. “We don’t understand.”
Editor’s note: This seems like a good place to share how Cofidis rider Nathan Haas is staying fit while quarantined.