Geraint Thomas has withdrawn from the Giro d'Italia due to injuries sustained in a heavy crash caused by a police motorbike on Sunday.
Team Sky had high hopes that the Welshman could mount a challenge for a first Grand Tour after he was named as a co-lead for the Giro along with Mikel Landa.
Thomas' hopes all-but ended when he damaged his shoulder and knee in a pile-up following Team Sunweb's Wilco Kelderman's collision with a police vehicle which was inexplicably parked at the side of the road on stage nine.
The 30-year-old was able to finish second in Tuesday's time trial following a rest day, but pulled out of the race on Friday with nine stages remaining to get himself fully fit for the Tour de France.
Incredibly gutted to be leaving, but I'll be back full statement here.. Cheers pic.twitter.com/wsw0zQ2OkS-- Geraint Thomas (@GeraintThomas86) May 19, 2017
"I've been suffering since my crash on Sunday. I've had an issue with my shoulder which is manageable, but my knee has also been getting worse each day." said Thomas.
"Obviously it's never nice to leave a race early, especially when it's your main goal of the season, but I have to look at the bigger picture. I'd love to continue, but it would be a case of trying to survive each day rather than racing.
"I'll turn my attention to the Tour now, and I want to arrive there with as good form as I started the Giro."
Thomas was down in 15th place ahead of stage 13 on Friday, six minutes and 46 seconds adrift of leader Tom Dumoulin.