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Giro d’Italia 2020: Australian team Mitchelton-Scott withdraw from race amid coronavirus outbreak

The Australian team Mitchelton-Scott have withdrawn from the Giro d’Italia after tests revealed four staff members have the coronavirus, two days after lead rider Simon Yates withdrew from the race after he too tested positive. 

Briton’s Yates, an overall contender for the pink jersey, pulled out after suffering mild symptoms which hurt his performance at the end of the first week. 

All teams have been subject to regular testing throughout the race so far, which is entering its second week after Monday’s rest day. Over Sunday and Monday, 571 tests were performed and eight were positive, including two riders and the four Mitchelton-Scott staff members

In a statement, the team 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.”

Mitchelton-Scott had been struggling already in the race although the 24-year-old Lucas Hamilton was 15th and in the hunt for a top-10 finish.

The race is currently being led by the Portuguese Deceuninck-QuickStep rider Joao Almeida.

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