ADAM Yates was planning to be racing at Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy last weekend, but instead spent his Sunday morning battling online rivals from his home in Andorra.

The whole Zwift event was broadcast live online by his Mitchelton-Scott team, which includes twin brother Simon, complete with commentary due to the coronavirus outbreak with fans able to battle it out with Grand Tour winners.

Bury’s Yates admitted it is difficult to train due to not knowing when the next race will be.

“We can’t do too much training because we don’t know when the next race is,” Yates said.

“You can’t keep going full gas but you need to keep ticking over, just keeping fit, keep active.

“Doing the Zwift sessions keeps me motivated, it keeps morale high.”

Races are handicapped, meaning the likes of Yates and his team-mates start out in the back and, chances are, will come along and overtake you sooner or later.

“There’s loads of people on there that can beat you!” Yates said. “You go on there and all of a sudden there are lots of people who can pump out the same watts as you.

“That’s the good thing, it keeps you competitive. It’s a bit of fun but you can get stuck in.”

Yates won his first career WorldTour stage race last month with victory in the truncated UAE Tour - having held the leader’s red jersey when it was announced the final two stages would be cancelled due to two suspected cases of the virus among support staff.

That left Yates to celebrate his victory amid a lockdown of all riders and participants, something the Bury Clarion man describes with his customary understatement as “a bit of a weird situation”.

Within days Mitchelton-Scott announced they were withdrawing from all racing until March 22, meaning Yates and his team-mates don’t know when or where they might return to competition.

“Everyone is in the same boat, not just us,” he said.

“We just have to keep fit and wait for the call.

“If we find out a week before that a race is on, we’ve got to be ready to go.”