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Team Ineos latest team to withdraw from racing

Joe Robinson
5 Mar 2020

Team Ineos have joined a growing number of teams who have chosen to withdraw from racing as a precaution against coronavirus

Team Ineos are the latest WorldTour team to withdraw from racing citing the sudden death of Nicolas Portal and ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The British team confirmed on Wednesday evening that they would postpone competition until the Volta a Cataluyna at the end of March, therefore missing Milan-San Remo.

'Team Ineos have today taken the decision to withdraw temporarily from all racing until the Volta a Catalunya on 23rd March. We have notified the UCI that we will not be competing in any races during this period,' the statement read.

'We have taken this decision given the unique set of circumstances we are facing following yesterday’s tragic news about Nico Portal. And clearly we recognise there is also a very uncertain situation with coronavirus more widely.'

This decision will see Team Ineos miss Strade Bianche, Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo, Nokere Koerse and the Bredene Koksijde Classic.

The team continued with further brief reasons as to why they had made the decision.

'First and foremost to look after our team members, their family and friends, who are all grieving for a much loved teammate and whose funeral will be taking place in the coming days.'

The statement then went on to say it is also protecting the health of its riders and staff while also considering the current strains on local communities during the ever-developing coronavirus situation.

'We do not want to be in a position where our riders become potentially infected or quarantined on race as has already happened. Equally we are acutely aware that these are difficult times for all local health services and we do not want to put any additional pressure or burden whatsoever upon them when all their focus should rightly be on their own local population,' said team manager Sir Dave Brailsford.

'Recent events at the UAE Tour have illustrated some of these challenges for cycling as a sport. This pause will give us the time to grieve for Nico in private, to support each other at what is a very sad moment and to treasure the memory of a great and much loved teammate and friend.

'We hope everyone will understand why this is so important to us.'

Team Ineos join a growing list of men's and women's teams that have decided to withdraw from racing in Italy due to the coronavirus issue in Italy.

Astana, Mitchelton-Scott, Boels-Dolmans, Education First and Parkhotel-Valkenburg have all announced they will not be participating at this Saturday's Strade Bianche.

A decision is expected today by RCS as to whether the race will be postponed to later in the year. Yesterday, the Italian government released a decree to cancel all mass-gathering sporting events yet did not call for the cancellation of Strade Bianche.