Alex Dowsett abandons the Giro d'Italia 2021 with stomach problems

Israel Start-Up Nation also lose Alessandro De Marchi in crash on stage 12

Alex Dowsett on the start podium of the Giro d'Italia 2021
(Image credit: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Alex Dowsett has had to abandon the Giro d'Italia 2021 on stage 12 after suffering from stomach problems.

Dowsett (Israel Start-Up Nation) came into the race hoping to perform well in the two individual time trials that bookend the race as well as looking after his leader Dan Martin on the flatter terrain.

But the British time trial champion has not had a comfortable last few days as he was suffering from stomach issues.

Dowsett managed a strong 14th in the opening time trial with his next best result a 66th place on the second stage, but his job wasn't stage hunting.

Israel Start-Up Nation have had a tough couple of days with Martin losing over six minutes to the pink jersey of Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) on stage 11; the Irishman slipping to 18th in the overall standings after refusing to take risks on the gravel roads.

Along with this disappointment, Israel Start-Up Nation also saw Alessandro De Marchi crash out of the race in the early part of stage 12 today (May 20) with the Italian, who wore the pink jersey earlier in the race, looking in a very bad way as he was taken to hospital in an ambulance.

>>> Aleksandr Vlasov says 'it was not easy to breathe' through dust on gravel stage of Giro d'Italia 2021

The team were quick to confirm that De Marchi was conscious but he was unable to continue with Mauro Vegni, race director of the Giro, telling Italian broadcaster Rai that De Marchi seemed to have some chest trauma and a likely broken collarbone.

Stage 12 has seen several riders having to abandon the race with Marc Soler (Movistar) the highest placed rider in the GC to step off the bike after suffering a heavy fall in the early part of the stage and not recovering.

Stage six winner, Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious) has also abandoned the race after finishing last on stage 11 and lost touch early again with Soler before getting in the team car. Fausto Masnada (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) was the other rider to leave the race.

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