Australian Mitchelton-Scott team pulls out of Giro d’Italia over COVID-19 positives

Mitchelton-Scott has joined a growing list of teams to withdraw from the Giro d’Italia, as coronavirus threatens to end the year’s second Grand Tour event prematurely.

The Australian-backed professional team made the decision to withdraw from the event after four staff members returned positive tests for COVID-19.

Mitchelton-Scott’s leading rider Simon Yates had already pulled out of the race on the weekend after contracting the illness.

Australian rider Michael Matthews of Team Sunweb also tested positive for coronavirus and withdrew prior to last night’s 10th stage, as did another team in Jumbo-Visma.

Matthews’s Sunweb team will keep racing, but the Australian team Mitchelton-Scott and Dutch team Jumbo-Visma have withdrawn.

Sunweb’s sports director Luke Roberts said Matthews was isolating and his teammates were being retested.

“Michael is completely asymptomatic. He has no symptoms whatsoever, so it’s obviously quite disappointing to hear that result,” Roberts said.

Triple world champion Peter Sagan won the stage to claim his first victory in over a year.

The Giro d’Italia is scheduled to finish in Milan on October 25.