On Wednesday, Colombian President Iván Duque extended the nation’s international travel ban–both coming and going–from the end of June until August 31 in order to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Duque’s Minister of Transportation Angela Maria Orozco promptly cancelled all national and international flights in the country until the new date, creating an obstacle for Colombian riders to return to their teams in Europe. The WorldTour is scheduled to resume in a shortened, condensed version on August 1, with the Tour de France beginning on August 29.
Colombian riders are hoping to be granted a special dispensation to leave the country, with the possibility of a private jet flying the whole WorldTour corps to Europe.
WorldTour teams have a total of 22 Colombian riders in their ranks, including Tour de France title holder Egan Bernal, Nairo Quintana, Rigoberto Uran and Angel “Superman” Lopez. Five of UAE-Emirates’ 30 riders are Colombian, as are four of INEOS’s 31 athletes.
Colombia joined its neighbour Argentina in lengthening the international travel ban, the Argentine ban having started earlier this month. Peru, Ecuador, El Salvador and Panama have also forbidden international travel. Colombia’s two-month lockdown, what’s referred to as Mandatory Preventive Isolation, continues until May 31.