Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers) has abandoned the Giro d’Italia after crashing into a tree on Stage 5.
The Russian, 23, is the second high-profile casualty from a pan-flat stage after Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) was taken away in an ambulance with suspected upper-body fractures.
Sivakov arrived in Italy as Ineos’ joint-leader alongside Egan Bernal, but struggled on Stage 4 before Wednesday’s crash.
Ewan's late thrust cuts down Colbrelli to win Stage 5 of Benelux Tour
Although he returned to his bike, he looked in distress as he dragged himself to the finish in Cattolica in last place.
‘Why take it into town?’ – Smith hits out at route after Stage 5 crashes
"When you’re thrown in with these big guys, when you get into the final of a race, the fighting that goes on, the big guys take every inch, they don’t give you any space at all. It’s so difficult to stay up there," said Sean Kelly on Eurosport commentary after the crash.
Your bike handling, if it’s a little bit off its best, well then you get caught out. This is a real disaster for him.
It is a serious blow to Ineos’ hopes of winning the maglia rosa, with Bernal now without a key lieutenant in the battle for pink.
Landa was taken out in a three-man crash in the final five kilometres, with mountains classification leader Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) also taken to hospital on a stretcher.
Highlights: Landa crashes out as Ewan wins Stage 5
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'The strongest!' - Ewan wins Stage 5
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