Mitchelton-Scott has pulled the plug on all men’s and women’s racing after announcing it will be withdrawing from all events with immediate effect until at least March 22 due to the worsening coronavirus outbreak in Europe.
Cycling Central
5 Mar 2020 - 10:07 AM 

The Australian team, home to star riders Esteban Chaves, Adam and Simon Yates, Annamiek van Vleuten and Amanda Spratt, made the drastic decision in light of news of a major spike in instances of Covid-19 in Italy and other parts of Europe.

Worried about the welfare of their riders and staff, the Aussie outfit decided the uncertainty of riding events during this global health crisis was too big of a risk to take. 

The likelihood of a lock down like what took place at the UAE Tour is another concern they were looked to avoid.

The decision means Mitchellton-Scott will not have a presence at men’s events including Paris-Nice, Strade Bianchi, Milan-San Remo and Tirreno-Adriatico, while the women’s team will miss Strade Bianche, Ronde van Drenthe, Danilith Nokere Koerse and the Trofeo Binda.

Rival teams EF Pro Cycling and Jumbo-Visma have also made the decision to pull out of the upcoming slate of races set to take place in Italy due to concerns of competing in the country with the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases.

They aren’t the only teams taking precautions around the worsening coronavirus situation as Parkhotel Valkenburg and CCC-Liv team have announced they are pulling out of Strade Bianche Women.

A Mitchelton-Scott media release said their decision comes “regardless of individual government regulations in place”.

"We, as Team Doctors and the wider team, have a duty of care to protect health and wellbeing of all our riders and staff. We will not have any input into, or control over, the measures that race organisers may or may not put in place to manage the COVID-19 risks," read the statement from Mitchelton-Scott.

"We are a moving, international logistical puzzle, with staff and riders travelling between different countries with different health systems and strategies around COVID-19. Constant travel will increase the health risks and make management of logistics, potential quarantine periods, etc, extremely difficult.

"To withdraw any additional impact we as a team, either via illness or injury, may put on national and international health systems and hospitals. Whilst we have put in all the preparations and are eager to race, as an organisation we believe this is the best way to ensure we adhere to our duty of care to riders and staff, before returning to business as usual as soon as possible."

Mitchelton-Scott rider Adam Yates was announced winner of the UAE Tour after it was cancelled with two stages to ride when two cases of coronavirus where discovered among one of the competing teams at the event.

All riders, team members and media were forced into lockdown in their Abu Dhabi hotels for three days for medical testing before the majority were allowed to leave the country.

However, UAE Team Emirates, Groupama-FDj, Cofidis and Gazprom-RusVelo remain in quarantine in Abu Dhabi with reports four riders have tested positive for Covid-19.