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Simon Yates is out of the Giro d’Italia after testing positive for COVID-19.
According to a statement from his Mitchelton-Scott team, the 28-year-old Briton began feeling “very mild symptoms” after Friday’s stage 7. Team medical staff requested a rapid test for coronavirus, which registered a positive result, and a followup PCR test confirmed that positive.
Mitchelton-Scott said that Yates “was isolated in his single room during the process.” According to the team, the rest of Mitchelton-Scott’s riders and staff have tested negative and have thus been cleared to continue racing.
“Simon’s health remains our main concern and, thankfully, his symptoms remain very mild and he is otherwise in good health. We want to thank the RCS for their support in arranging the quick testing and his transport,” said team doctor Matteo Beltemacchi.
“All other riders and staff have returned negative results and have been cleared to continue the race, but as a precautionary measure we will monitor the situation closely and undergo further testing in the coming days.”
Yates’s departure leaves the Giro peloton without one of its biggest pre-race favorites, as the former Vuelta a España winner came into this year’s race on the heels of an impressive Tirreno-Adriatico victory. Although he lost around three and a half minutes on his GC rivals on stage 3 to Etna, Yates remained in the GC conversation through the first week, battling hard on Friday to rejoin the peloton after getting caught behind a split in the crosswinds.
With Yates leaving the race, Mitchelton-Scott is down to just five riders as Brent Bookwalter withdrew from the Giro after stage 5 due to injuries suffered in a prior crash and Edoardo Affini is not taking the start on Saturday’s stage 8 after crashing hard on Friday.