Women’s cycling team CCC-Liv have withdrawn from two races in Spain this week because the health risks from coronavirus are “simply too great”.
The team will not start Thursday’s Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa or Friday’s Klasikoa Navarra.
Cases of Covid-19 in Spain’s Navarra region, where the races will take place, continue to grow.
In a statement, team manager Eric van den Boom said: “The health of our people always comes first.”
He went on: “We have set ourselves a very strict health protocol in recent months. All this to minimise the risks of contamination with Covid-19.
“We were delighted to finally be able to race again; however on Wednesday, it turned out that the health risks in the Navarra region are too great.
“We’ve followed all protocols and know from the daily health monitoring of riders and staff that none of us are infected with Covid-19. Should we enter the race on Thursday, we will come into contact with riders who, as it turns out, might not have undergone the mandatory test. In addition, the number of infections at the location of the races has considerably increased in two days.
“In consultation with our team doctor, we had to make the difficult decision not to start on Thursday and Friday. Instead, the riders stay together in the protected team bubble in Spain. It is a disappointment for everyone involved in the cycling team, but the health of our people always comes first. The intention is to start in Durango-Durango on Sunday.”