By Jonny Long published
Israel Start-Up Nation's Krists Neilands has become the first rider to abandon the 2021 Giro d'Italia after crashing on the way back to his hotel after stage one.
After completing the opening 8.6km time trial, where the Latvian finished 105th, 55 seconds down on Filippo Ganna's winning time, Neilands rode back to his hotel from the course in central Turin.
Unfortunately, he crashed en route and was taken to hospital where it was revealed he had broken his right collarbone. The 26-year-old will now require surgery and won't be able to start stage two, becoming the first rider to abandon the 2021 Italian Grand Tour.
"On his way back to the hotel, Krists Neilands crashed and was taken to hospital where a scan confirmed a fracture on his right collarbone," Israel Start-Up Nation said in a statement. "He will need surgery and therefore won’t take the start of stage two on Sunday. Speedy recovery, Krists!"
"Unfortunately I'm out of the race, it's a really big pain for me," a dejected-looking Neilands said in a video posted the morning after. "Sometimes bad luck happens and this is life...I just want to wish my team-mates the best of luck for the upcoming days and I know they can do something huge in this race."
Neilands had been set to support team leader Dan Martin, who has GC ambitions for the race. The Irishman lost time to his rivals in the race against the clock but will be looking to build on his fourth-place finish in last year's Vuelta a España, his highest-ever finish in a Grand Tour.
The Giro d'Italia continues on stage two with a mostly flat route from Stupinigi to Novara, offering up a first chance for the sprinters. Israel Start-Up Nation's Davide Cimolai will be up against the likes of Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal), Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Elia Viviani (Cofidis) in the fight for stage honours.
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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