In a huge blow for Fabio Aru and the organisers of the Giro d'Italia, the Astana rider has been forced to pull out of the 100th staging of the event due to a knee injury.
This year's Giro will start in Aru's native Sardinia on May 5.
Yet the 26-year-old, who has twice made the podium in his home Grand Tour, finishing third in 2014 and second a year later, will be unable to participate after hurting his knee in a training fall.
A statement from Astana revealed Aru is suffering from "pre patellar bursitis that causes pain when he pedals". He has been told to rest completely for 10 days, ahead of a further examination on April 20.
Astana's statement added: "Noting this situation, the management of the team has decided to announce that unfortunately Fabio Aru will not participate in the Giro d'Italia 2017. The upcoming race calendar of Aru will be evaluated after his complete recovery from this injury."
Aru, who had tweeted a picture of his swollen knee on Friday, said: "I'm so sorry and disappointed for what happened.
-- Fabio Aru (@FabioAru1) April 7, 2017
"I was dreaming of the Giro start from my Sardinia and we were preparing for the Giro for months. Unfortunately, the accident occurred and does not allow me to be at the start in sufficient condition. Albeit with great regret, we are forced to give up."