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Coronavirus: Higuita, Quintana face isolation after returning home from Paris-Nice

Arkéa-Samsic’s Nairo Quintana in action at Paris-Nice (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic), winner of the final stage of Paris-Nice on Saturday, and Sergio Higuita (EF Pro Cycling), who placed third overall, are facing two weeks in isolation after returning to Colombia to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Quintana made an announcement on Twitter: "After giving my country one more joy yesterday, I will comply with the 14 days of preventive isolation that I have been told about for when I return to Colombia. Thank you for always supporting me."

After rumours that Colombia would close its borders, Higuita told Zikloland that he has made his way home but is abiding by the quarantine rules.

"It has been quite an odyssey," Higuita said. "Watching the phone and the news that was being broadcast every hour. But the important thing was to respect the rules and, above all, to respect everyone's safety.

"The government has made some decisions for the good of all and we must be the first to set an example. Of course I want to be with my family. But the coronavirus is a very important problem for public health and we must all set an example: from the first to the last."

Higuita and Quintana have been enjoying strong results so far this season, with the younger climber winning the national road championship and then the overall Tour Colombia 2.1 in a three-way sweep with teammates Dani Martinez and Jonathan Caicedo before heading to Europe for Paris-Nice, where he moved onto the podium on the final mountain stage.

Quintana won the Tour de la Provence and Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var before Paris-Nice, and went into the race as the overwhelming favourite, but bad luck hit on stage 2 with an ill-timed crash as the peloton shattered in the crosswinds.