Caleb Ewan has abandoned the Giro d'Italia 2021, climbing off during stage eight after picking up two victories in the first week.
The Australian sprinter is looking to win a stage at each Grand Tour this year and has always said he would at some point abandon the Giro in pursuit of this goal.
Having taken his second stage victory on stage seven, following on from his stage five win, Ewan said he would try to ride as deep into the race as he could.
"The plan is now to stay on for as long as possible. But a few tough mountain stages will follow in the coming days," the Lotto-Soudal sprinter said after stage seven.
Ewan, however, made the decision to climb off within the first half of stage eight, reports coming in that he'd been dropped as the peloton sped towards the stage's main obstacle of the day, the second category climb to Bocca della Selva.
"My goal remains the same for this year, and I need to do what's best in preparation for the Tour,” Ewan reminded everyone after stage seven, having also taken the maglia ciclamino.
"This [Giro] so far has been very tough with the weather and a lot of guys' legs are hurting a lot. I have to make sure I don't go so deep because if you do, it's hard to start again in the Tour.
"There are another two tough Grand Tours coming up, and managing how I race them after this is going to be difficult. So it's a challenge, but I'm looking forward to it."
Ewan's goal of a stage win in each Grand Tour is his pursuit of putting his name in the history books forever.
"I think it'd be nice, not many people have done it before, I'd be the first non-European to do it and as cycling is a global sport, if I can go down in history because of that, I'd love to leave some sort of mark in cycling," he said.
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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