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Chris Froome among riders being tested for coronavirus at cancelled UAE Tour

Chris Froome (Team Ineos) chats with points-jersey-wearer Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) during stage 5 of the 2020 UAE Tour
Chris Froome (Team Ineos) chats with points-jersey-wearer Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) during stage 5 of the 2020 UAE Tour (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Team Ineos) was among the riders tested for the coronavirus at the now-cancelled UAE Tour in the United Arab Emirates. 

Two cases of the virus were confirmed by the race organisers on Thursday evening, in two Italian staff members of one of the teams, and everyone working on the race – riders, staff members, organisers and media – is now confined to their hotels in Abu Dhabi pending the results of tests.

Following the conclusion of Thursday's fifth stage – won by UAE Team Emirates' Tadej Pogacar on the climb of Jebel Hafeet – the race organisers confirmed the two cases of coronavirus and cancelled the remaining two stages of the UCI WorldTour race, which was due to conclude in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

"It's a shame that the UAE Tour has been cancelled but public health must come first," wrote Froome on Twitter. "We are all awaiting testing and will remain at the hotel until further notice. I hope those affected make a speedy recovery and there aren't any further cases."

The results of the tests on riders are expected to be revealed later on Friday or on Saturday.  

Froome's British compatriot Adam Yates remained the leader of the race after stage 5, holding a 1:01 lead over Pogacar, and has been declared the default winner of the race.

Yates' Australian WorldTour team, Mitchelton-Scott, tweeted: "The final two days of racing are cancelled due to concerns around coronavirus. Riders and staff remain in the hotel and will be tested shortly, with their health taking priority. We hope anyone affected makes a fast recovery."

The Israel Start-Up Nation team's Alex Dowsett, meanwhile, simply tweeted, "Well, didn't see that one coming," while New Zealander James Mitri, riding the race for Italian ProTeam Vini Zabù-KTM, wrote: "Thanks, UAE Tour, for a great race and time. It's a shame the last days are cancelled but the riders and staff's health must come first."