Astana’s Tanel Kangert, who sat seventh place on general classification ahead of stage 15, has been forced to abandon the 2017 Giro d’Italia after a horrendous crash with 10km to go on the stage.
The Estonian was riding within the main peloton when he ploughed straight into a traffic island in the middle of the road as the bunch came of a roundabout in the northern Italian city of Bergamo.
He sat on the ground immediately after the incident, which saw him thrown forward over his handlebars and crashing to the tarmac, clutching his left elbow as he waited for team support.
Astana later confirmed that their best placed rider on GC had suffered a broken elbow in the incident and would not be able to continue the race.
Having started the race with only eight riders after the tragic death of Michele Scarponi, now have seven riders within the race who will continue to look for stage wins in the difficult mountain stages of the third week.
Luis Leon Sanchez, who was in the breakaway when Kangert’s crash occurred, has taken Astana’s best result at this Giro with a third place finish on stage eight of the race.