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Multiple riders and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 the UCI and RCS Sport announced in a joint press release. The tests were the first round, conducted during the rest day, in addition to the multiple safety measures the Giro d’Italia have had in place since the depart in Sicily. Mitchelton-Scott was the worst hit, with several staff members returning positive tests after their GC hopeful, Simon Yates, tested positive several days into the first week. The team released a statement soon after.
“As a social responsibility to our riders and staff, the peloton and the race organization, we have made the clear decision to withdraw from the Giro d’Italia,” General Manager Brent Copeland said in the statement. “Thankfully those impacted remain asymptomatic or with mild symptoms, but as an organization the health of all of our riders and staff is our main priority. We are now focused on safely transporting them to areas where they are most comfortable to conduct a period of quarantine.”
The UCI and RCS statement confirmed a total of 571 tests had been performed since Sunday. Steven Kruijswijk of Jumbo-Visma had also tested positive and withdrawn from the race, along with Michael Matthews of Team Sunweb. One staff member from both AG2R La Mondiale and Team INEOS Grenadiers were also included.
COVID cases are on the rise once again in Europe, with the hope of reaching the finale in Milan decreasing with each passing day. Both Paris-Roubaix and Amstel Gold were cancelled last week due to increasing COVID restrictions in many countries.