Ararat cyclist Lucas Hamilton's Giro d'Italia has come to an untimely end with his team withdrawing from the event after four staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
Mitchelton-Scott had been on high alert after team leader - and general classification contender - Simon Yates tested positive before Saturday's stage eight.
The Australian-backed team returned two negative rounds tests on Friday and Saturday, before being notified of four positive results from tests on Sunday.
Hamilton was the highest-ranked Mitchelton-Scott rider, and the second highest-ranked Australian, in 17th before the team withdrew on Monday's rest day.
"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." team general manager Brent Copeland said.
"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."
MAKING NEWS ACROSS THE WIMMERA:
Mitchelton-Scott was down to five riders from its original eight, before withdrawing from the grand tour nearly two weeks before its scheduled finish.
Riders on the Giro stay in a bio-secure bubble when not competing, and no positive tests were reported before the race began.
Team doctor Matteo Beltemacchi said it wasn't clear how the virus breached the Giro's quarantine protocols.
It remains to be seen what is next on the horizon for Hamilton.
Mitchelton-Scott is pencilled in to start next week's Vuelta a Espana, though Hamilton has previously said the Giro would be his last event of a whirlwind year.
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