Tim Merlier has withdrawn from the Giro d’Italia, saying he doesn’t feel able to "sprint for the win" any longer.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.
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"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.
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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."
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