Simon Yates has abandoned the Giro d'Italia on stage 17, after managing his knee injury became too much for him.
The Team BikeExchange-Jayco rider injured himself in a crash on stage four to Mount Etna, when Yates struck a kerb after being hit from behind by another rider. His knee has been noticeably strapped in the fortnight since he hurt himself, but it did not prevent Yates from winning stage 14 around Torino last Saturday.
There had been speculation that his heavily-strapped knee was causing him such problems that he would be forced to quit the Giro on the second rest day, but that did not come to pass, with the Briton battling on.
Yates had earlier won the stage two time trial in Budapest, with his tally of stage wins at this race standing at six.
The two in 2022 were added to the he won four before this year, including three in his thrilling tilt at pink in 2018, which actually saw him end up in 21st place overall. At last year's edition, Yates finished third, his first podium at the Italian Grand Tour.
He was clearly disappointed with his efforts at the Giro, a race he came into aiming for general classification victory.
Dr. Matteo Beltemacchi, Team BikeExchange-Jayco's doctor, said in a statement: “Yates' fall on Mount Etna and subsequent knee problem (likely edema of the bony spongiosa of the patella) weighed down on the rider for all following stages of the Giro d’Italia.
"Despite daily therapy and Simon's tenacity, that resulted in a second stage win, the knee pain grew worse and worse, eventually leading to the decision for his retirement from the race.”
He is expected to ride the Tour de France as well in July, but it is unlikely that he will target GC there as well after his tilt at the overall at the Giro. If that was the case, one would expect him to have headed home early in order to be at his best for that race.
Yates has had a turbulent relationship with the Giro since his debut in 2018, when he won those stages and led the race for 13 days before conceding it to compatriot Chris Froome. The 2019 and 2020 editions were fruitless for him, but he roared back in 2021 to take a sensational stage win to Alpe di Mera and finally grab an overall podium, finishing third.
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