Geraint Thomas has withdrawn from the Giro d’Italia, Team Sky have announced.
The Welsh rider has been struggling with injuries since his crash on Sunday, which saw him slip out of general classification contention.
Thomas, co-leading Team Sky in a Grand Tour for the first time, suffered shoulder and knee damage when a stationary police motorbike caused a crash late on during stage nine.
Thomas had been lying second overall at the time of the incident but lost over five minutes and slipped further back in stages 11 and 12.
“I’ve been suffering since my crash on Sunday,” Thomas said. “I’ve had an issue with my shoulder which is manageable, but my knee has also been getting worse each day.
“Obviously it’s never nice to leave a race early, especially when it’s your main goal of the season, but I have to look at the bigger picture. I’d love to continue, but it would be a case of trying to survive each day rather than racing.
“I’ll turn my attention to the Tour de France now, and I want to arrive there with the same good form I started the Giro with.”
It is the latest disappointment in Italy for Team Sky.
Sir Bradley Wiggins suffered crashes, illness and mechanical issues before withdrawing in 2013, Richie Porte was essentially knocked out of contention on stage 10 in 2015 after taking illegal assistance for a puncture, and Mikel Landa – who was also caught up in Sunday’s crash – fell ill early in last year’s race.
Omar Fraile took his maiden Grand Tour victory on stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia as Tom Dumoulin hung on to the overall lead despite a frantic and stressful day in the pink jersey.
Team Dimension Data’s Fraile won the 161-kilometre stage from Firenze to Bagno di Romagna out of the remnants of a large breakaway which at one point threatened to knock Dumoulin off top spot, and forced his Team Sunweb squad to work hard all day to limit their losses.
Pre-race favourite Nairo Quintana, second in the general classification, crossed the line in the same group as Dumoulin, a little over 90 seconds behind Fraile.
But Quintana’s team-mate Andrey Amador was in the break and moved up to sixth overall, three minutes five seconds back overall to give the Movistar squad plenty of options for the days to come.
Fraile had been aggressive in the break but it came down to a select sprint between the final four survivors as he edged out Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac) and Tanel Kangert (Astana) to the line.
A furious pace right from the start of the day split the peloton into pieces and allowed Dumoulin’s rivals to test the strength of Sunweb over the day’s four classified climbs and the long descent to the finish.
Amador was at one point the virtual race leader as the breakaway moved five minutes clear but it soon began to splinter.
Fraile went clear with Team Sky’s Mikel Landa, with the British squad forced into being creative after Sunday’s crash appeared to have knocked both Landa and Geraint Thomas completely out of contention.
They were reeled in on the final climb before Fraile chased down an attack from Rolland and the pair went clear to crest the summit first and set up the long chase to the finish. Fraile’s victory was Dimension Data’s first in the Giro.
Behind, defending champion Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) launched attacks which split the peloton further, dropping Thomas, and creating further time gaps in the general classification.
Dumoulin leads by two minutes and 23 seconds from Quintana, with Trek-Segafredo’s Bauke Mollema a further 15 seconds back in third. Pinot is fourth, two minutes 40 seconds down and seven seconds ahead of Nibali in fifth.
Thomas gave up another 48 seconds to the main contenders to sit 14th overall, six minutes 21 seconds back.
1 – Omar Fraile (Team Dimension Data) – 161km in 4h23’14”, average speed 36,697km/h
2 – Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (UAE Team Emirates) s.t.
3 – Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team) s.t.
1 – Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)
2 – Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) at 2’23”
3 – Bauke Mollema (Trek – Segafredo) at 2’38”
UAE Team Emirates rider Jan Polanc was pleased with his time trialling, as he’s not used to a race against the clock in such prestigious company.
Polanc finished 15th in the stage, 2:35 behind runaway leader Tom Dumoulin but finished above General Classification contenders Thibaut Pinot who was 19th, Steven Kruijswijk in 20th and Nairo Quintana in 23rd.
Team-mate Rui Costa also enjoyed a top-25 finish, as the Portuguese was 15 seconds behind Polanc in 21st.
Polanc, who stands 14th overall, said: “I felt really good during the time trial and I’m quite happy with my performance. I don’t usually take part in a time trial with the aim of competing against the top riders of the General Classification.
“However I am very pleased and feel that I have succeeded in achieving a great result.
“My performance was better than many riders who will be contesting the final victory.”
Tuesday’s Stage 11 is 161 km long and starts in Florence and is considered a good route for climbers and descenders taking in four categorised climbs.
Stage Ten Results
1 Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) 00:50:37
2 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) 00:00:49
3 Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) 00:00:56
15 Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) 00:02:35
General Classification after Stage Ten
1 Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) 42:57:16
2 Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 0:02:23
3 Bauke Mollema (Trek – Segafredo) 0:02:38
14 Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) 00:06:51
Mountains Classification after Stage Ten
1 Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) Points = 44
2 Nairo Quintana (Movistar) Points = 35
3 Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) Points = 27