Tim Merlier has withdrawn from the Giro d’Italia, saying he doesn’t feel able to "sprint for the win" any longer.
The Alpecin-Fenix rider was competing in his first Grand Tour and won the first sprint stage in Novara before finishing third on Stage 7 in Termoli.
However, he was distanced on Stage 10 and will not be on the start line when the race resumes after a rest day on Wednesday.
Vuelta a España
Can Evenepoel topple Pogacar and Vingegaard at Tour de France?
10/09/2022 AT 21:46
"It is a shame I have to leave the Giro. But I believe it’s the most sensible choice right now," he said.
"This was the first time in my career that I raced for 10 consecutive days, and the past few days have taken their toll. With my current physical readiness, I don’t feel able to sprint for the win and I don’t want to compromise the rest of my season."
Merlier, 28, is expected to ride the Tour de France alongside Alpecin-Fenix team leader Mathieu van der Poel this summer.

'Oh my word, disgraceful!' - Team car knocks over rider in shocking incident

He follows sprinter Caleb Ewan in withdrawing from the first Grand Tour of the season.
"I’m proud and honoured that I could make my Grand Tour debut here," Merlier said.
"This Giro d'Italia has been an unforgettable adventure for myself and for Alpecin-Fenix. We came here aiming for a stage victory. I’m therefore very pleased that we were able to achieve that goal and that we continued to battle for stage wins afterwards.
"It was a great honour and a great motivation to be able to wear the iconic Maglia Ciclamino for five days. I will support the boys from home now in the next 11 days."

The Lost Year

This is the definitive story of the people who saved the 2020 cycling season. We speak to the people who delivered a race calendar like no other, bringing the UCI World Tour roaring back to life after an unprecedented mid-season halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a year that has affected us all, cycling demonstrated that there is hope for professional sports and entertainment. You can stream this and more of the best cycling stories in the world exclusively on GCN+.
Vuelta a España
'No one could touch him' - Reaction to 'phenomenal' Bennett's sprint triumph
20/08/2022 AT 17:21
Vuelta a España
Bennett edges pulsating sprint in Utrecht to claim stunning Stage 2 victory
20/08/2022 AT 15:35