Remco Evenepoel has withdrawn from the Giro d'Italia after being involved in a crash on Stage 17.
The 21-year-old Belgian was flung into a barrier along with Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) and a few other riders as they tackled a tight corner on a descent.
Evenepoel, riding in his first Grand Tour, finished the stage but will not continue in the race after being examined by team doctors.
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A statement from his team Deceuninck-QuickStep read: "This examination has revealed there was no fractures, but he has suffered multiple skin lacerations and contusion of the second metacarpal of his left hand, caput radials, sacroiliacal joint, patella and of the eighth rib, as well as bilateral bursitis olecrani.
"Following the diagnosis the medical team decided that it would be best if Remco was to leave the race and recover completely as fast as possible, before working towards his goals for later in the season."
Evenepoel, who is making his comeback after an eight-month injury lay-off following a serious crash last summer, added: "In the end it was a crash that shouldn’t have happened, I don’t know what really happened in front of me, but I came into the corner and saw some guys on the ground and I couldn’t pass on the right side because I was next to another guy, so I didn’t have any chances to avoid a crash.
"For now, there isn’t anything broken, but I have a lot of contusions, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to carry on with this pain. So I go back to Belgium and go for some CT scans. Then we will see.
"Of course it’s sad to leave the race, and my first Grand Tour too early, but in the end, it was a nice experience and I hope to be back one day again. I’m wishing the best to all my Deceuninck – Quick-Step team-mates for the remaining stages."
Evenepoel is one of the most talented young riders in cycling and looked to have quickly settled into life at a Grand Tour as he reached the first rest day in second place overall.
However, he gradually slipped down the GC before losing 24 minutes on Stage 16 in the Dolomites on Monday.
Deceuninck-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere said that Evenepoel's ego has been "dented" by his experience at the Giro.
"That boy had never lost," he told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. "He won everything in the juniors, his first two years with the pros were also a great success. This is the first time that he has lost in sport."
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