Dylan Groenewegen has pulled out of the Giro d’Italia 2021 after 13 stages.
The Jumbo-Visma rider was competing in Italy in his first race after serving a nine-month ban for dangerous sprinting.
Groenewegen, 27, left the race after stage 13 following his 10th-place finish in Verona, as his team said he was fatigued having not raced since August 2020.
The Dutchman leaves the race without a podium finish, his best result falling on stage two into Novara where he finished fourth behind winner Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix).
Announcing his departure from the race, Groenewegen said: “My Giro is over after today. I enjoyed the race feeling.
“The feeling I need to win is back and I will prepare for my next goals, and I also want to thank my team who went for it in every sprint.”
Groenewegen will be joined by his 23-year-old team-mate David Dekker, who will also leave his first Grand Tour after 13 days, as the Dutchman continues his first season at WorldTour level.
Jumbo-Visma sports director Arthur van Dongen said: “The pipe is quite empty for both boys. David is a neo-pro who has never raced for thirteen days in a row and Dylan had not raced for quite some time before the Giro.
“As a team we are really satisfied with how they have manifested themselves in recent days, but continuing now would require too much of them. Those guys have to take a break now and then quickly look ahead to the coming races.”
Groenewegen became embroiled in controversy in August last year when he was involved in the serious crash with Deceuninck - Quick-Step’s Fabio Jakobsen at the Tour of Poland.
Jakobsen suffered serious injuries after he was pushed into the barriers by Groenewegan in the infamous downhill sprint finish into Katowice.
Following the incident, Groenewegen was handed a nine-month ban by the UCI.
He was initially scheduled to return to racing at a series of smaller races, but he was drafted into the Jumbo-Visma Giro team last minute to replace another rider who had fallen ill.
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