Richie Porte has been forced to abandon the 2022 Giro d’Italia due to illness.
The Australian, a key domestique to the pink jersey Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) in these final two mountain days, was dropped on the first climb of the day after 70 km had been raced.
After going backwards on the third-category Villanova Grotte, Porte told Eurosport’s Bradley Wiggins, who reports from within the race on a motorbike, that he was suffering from stomach issues.
The 37-year-old climbed off with 59km remaining and the two main climbs of the day still to come, the Kolovrat and the summit finish at Santuario di Castelmonte.
He will also miss the final mountain showdown on stage 20, where the GC riders will battle it out over the Passo San Pellegrino, Passo Pordoi and the Passo Fedaia.
Set to retire at the end of the season, this Giro d’Italia was Porte’s final Grand Tour.