Tomasz Marczynski has abandoned the 2021 Giro d'Italia after suffering from long Covid symptoms.
The Lotto-Soudal rider didn't take the start of stage nine, a gruelling mountain day culminating in a gravel climb to the finish, having been experiencing post-Covid neurological symptoms.
The 37-year-old has had headaches, insomnia, dizziness as well as coordination issues, meaning the team doctor recommended he abandon the Italian Grand Tour.
"No Tomasz Marczynski at the start of stage nine of the Giro d'Italia," Lotto-Soudal announced this morning. "Tomasz is struggling with post covid neurological symptoms: headache, insomnia, dizziness and coordination problems. Team doctor Maarten Meirhaeghe decided to pull him out for safety reasons and further examinations."
Some cyclists suffering from long Covid have noticed that the power and efforts they used to be able to put out are no longer possible, and currently, doctors are finding out more about these effects at the same time riders are experiencing them.
Marczynski was forced to leave the Tour of Luxembourg last year after experiencing coronavirus symptoms before returning to racing and completing the 2020 Vuelta a España.
At the Giro he was sitting in 171st out of 176 places in the overall classification and now leaves Lotto-Soudal with 6 riders left in the race after Caleb Ewan abandoned during stage eight.
The Australian had won two stages in the first week of racing, making it a successful campaign for the Belgian squad regardless of the final two weeks.
"I'm sad to quit and leave my team-mates, but at the same time, I'm really grateful to my team for supporting me at this moment. Hope to be back in few weeks," Marczynski said.
This was the Polish rider's ninth Grand Tour, having made his three-week stage race debut in 2012 at the Giro. His best performance was 13th overall at the 2013 Vuelta,, having also won two stages of the Spanish Grand Tour in 2017.
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