Tom Dumoulin abandons Giro d’Italia 2019

The Dutchman started stage five but was forced to quit just 1.5km into the stage

Tom Dumoulin has abandoned the Giro d’Italia after riding just 1.5km of stage five.

The Dutchman was caught in a big crash 5km before the line on stage four, suffering a nasty cut to his knee.

After Dumoulin underwent X-rays at the finish, his Sunweb team announced he had not suffered any fractures and would start stage five.

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But the 2017 Giro d’Italia winner abandoned the race almost immediately after the start of the day.

Dumoulin was one of many riders caught in a crash during the final of the 235km stage to Frascati, just outside Rome.

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He climbed back on with blood pouring from a wound in his left knee as his general classification hopes dwindled.

Dumoulin finished more than four minutes down surrounded by his team-mates, as Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) crossed the line in the front group that went clear after the crash and extended his overall lead.

Speaking after the stage, Dumoulin said: “No fractures, that’s the latest.

“That’s good but my knee’s already very swollen and I was not able to push any power on the pedals in the last few kilometres today.”

Ahead of stage five, Sunweb doctor Stephan Jacolino said: “Medically speaking he is cleared to race, but the day’s eventuality is dependent on how much pain his knee brings. Hopefully it goes well and the pain subsides as the day goes on.”

It was not to be for the 28-year-old, who stepped off the bike in the neutralised zone after just 1.5km on the bike.

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Dumoulin was scheduled to ride both the Giro and the Tour de France after he finished second overall in both races last year.

The Giro was his main goal because of the three individual time trials spread throughout the race.

He is now likely to focus his attentions on the Tour, where he will go up against the likes of Chris Froome (Team Ineos), Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott).