Mitchelton-Scott have pulled their entire team from the Giro d’Italia after a number of coronavirus positives.
The Australian WorldTour squad has opted to pull out of the Italian Grand Tour after four of their staff members tested positive for Covid-19 on the first rest day.
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Mitchelton-Scott had already been forced to pull their general classification leader Simon Yates from the race after he also tested positive for the virus in the first week.
All riders and staff at the Giro d’Italia were tested during the first rest day on Monday (October 12), with two riders and six staff members on the race returning positive results.
Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) and Michael Matthews (Sunweb) were the two riders found to have Covid, with both being withdrawn from the race by their teams.
Mitchelton-Scott’s general manager Brent Copeland said: “Unfortunately we received the news on Monday evening that we have returned a number of positive Covid-19 results to members of our staff after our third round of tests in three days.
“As a social responsibility to our riders and staff, the peloton and the race organisation we have made the clear decision to withdraw from the Giro d’Italia.
“Thankfully those impacted remain asymptomatic or with mild symptoms, but as an organisation the health of all of our riders and staff is our main priority and we are now focused on safely transporting them to areas where they are most comfortable to conduct a period of quarantine.
“We wish the RCS and the rest of the peloton a successful finish to this year’s edition of the Giro d’Italia and we look forward to returning in 2021.”
In a joint statement released on Tuesday, the UCI and Giro organiser RCS confirmed that two riders and six staff members had tested positive.
Jumbo-Visma has confirmed their GC leader Kruijswijk has coronavirus while Sunweb announced Michael Matthews would also be leaving the race after contracting Covid-19.
Mitchelton-Scott had four staff members test positive, while AG2R La Mondiale had one and Ineos Grenadiers had another worker contract the virus.
The staff members have all been left in the care of their team’s doctors and will undergo isolation procedures.