Tom Dumoulin, who won his first Grand Tour two years ago in the Giro d’Italia before coming runner up in the Giro and the Tour de France last season, was forced to abandon the Giro on Wednesday soon after the neutral zone due to a deep knee gash suffered on Tuesday. Dumoulin will now recover and prepare for July’s Tour.

Dumoulin was one of several riders caught up in a crash five kilometres from the finish line with the peloton going full gas in anticipation of a bunch sprint. The carnage not only caused a cut over Dumoulin’s knee that streamed blood down his leg, it also left only a dozen riders out front, including race leader Primož Roglič.

Roglič look tentative to push the pace, but there were sprinters in the bunch who wanted the win. In the end, Richard Carapaz (Ecuador/Movistar) earned a Giro stage victory for a second consecutive year, Simon Yates, Angel Lopez and Vincenzo Nibali finished 16-seconds behind Roglič and Dumoulin limped in with his full team over four minutes later.

Dumoulin’s visit to a hospital to stitch the gash revealed no broken bones and Dutchman gamely tried to go on, but the prospect of continuing in pain in pouring rain with no hope of victory saw him climb off the bike.

Daniel Navarro of Katusha was also badly hurt in the crash; he was taken to hospital with broken ribs and a punctured lung.

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