Dubai - Britain's Adam Yates was on Friday declared winner of the UAE Tour, after the final two stages fell victim to the coronavirus outbreak.
Yates led the overall race after Thursday's fifth stage of the WorldTour event scheduled to finish on Saturday. Second was Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia with Kazak Alexey Lutsenko third.
The race was abandoned after two Italian staff members of one of the teams taking part tested positive for the virus, organisers said in a statement Friday. Officials had initially wrongly identified the two as Italian riders.
All riders and staff as well as race officials are to undergo testing for the virus at their hotel in Abu Dhabi, the statement said.
The UAE health ministry said in a statement that all necessary measures "including quarantine" could be used to contain the virus.
Britain's Chris Froome, among the 140 riders who started the race on Sunday, said late on Thursday he was expecting to be tested at the team hotel.
"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 of #coronavirus," he tweeted.
Italy has been hardest hit by the virus in Europe with 650 people infected and 17 deaths.
A total of 24 Italian cyclists started the race in the UAE.
The United Arab Emirates has so far recorded 13 cases of contamination from the virus.
It’s a shame that the #UAETour has been cancelled but public health must come first. 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 #coronavirus— Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) February 27, 2020