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Mitchelton-Scott and Jumbo-Visma leave Giro d'Italia after Covid positives

Joe Robinson
13 Oct 2020

Two teams abandon the Giro after first rest day due to positive tests for Covid-19 virus

Jumbo-Visma have withdrawn from the Giro d'Italia after Steven Kruijswijk tested positive for Covid-19 on the first rest day. Meanwhile, Mitchelton-Scott have withdrawn their entire team due to four new Covid cases.

Race organiser RCS and governing body the UCI confirmed in a joint statement that two riders – one from Jumbo-Visma and one from Team Sunweb, as well as six staff members – four from Mitchelton-Scott and one each from AG2R La Mondiale and Ineos Grenadiers, had returned positive tests for the virus on the rest day.

Dutch team Jumbo-Visma confirmed that the rider to have tested positive was General Classification hopeful Kruijswijk and that despite being asymptomatic, he would be withdrawn from the race.

'Kruijswijk has no complaints or symptoms and he was very motivated to win this Giro d’Italia. He received the news of his positive test this morning. The other riders and staff members of Team Jumbo-Visma tested negative twice and may continue the Giro d’Italia,' the statement read.

For Kruijswijk the news comes very unexpectedly. 'Within the team, we take a lot of measures to avoid contamination. And I just feel fit. I can’t believe I got it. It is a very big disappointment to get this news. It is a pity that I have to leave the Giro this way.'

On the way to the start of Stage 10 on Tuesday morning, the team decided it was appropriate to withdraw the all riders from the race as a precaution. 

Shortly after, Australian team Mitchelton-Scott confirmed they would also be withdrawing from the entire race after four staff members returned positive tests for the virus on Monday.

Despite all members of the team testing negative on Friday and Saturday, 'the team was notified of four positive results for staff members from testing conducted on Sunday evening.'

A statement continued that upon receiving the results and consulting RCS, 'Mitchelton-Scott immediately withdrew its team from the race and will focus on the health of its riders and staff and their safe movement to areas of quarantine.'

Team manager Brent Copeland spoke further on the issue, stating that '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 focussed on safely transporting them to areas where they are most comfortable to conduct a period of quarantine.'

Mitchelton-Scott had already been affected by the virus at this year's Giro with GC hope and British rider Simon Yates abandoned after testing positive for the virus on the eve of Stage 8.

The Lancastrian had developed mild symptoms on Friday evening and was immediately tested for the virus. Once it was established he had the virus, Yates was placed in isolation and removed from the team's bubble.