World Champion Alessandro Ballan withdrew from Tirreno-Adriatico before stage five. Ballan and the Lampre-NGC staff decided he should withdraw since he was still suffering from a virus that he caught last weekend.
"During the race, I've been tired and could not rest properly," said Ballan. "I prefer to train in a quiet way and to have the necessary rest time. It would have been great to realize good performances in Tirreno-Adriatico.
"I'm sorry to quit the race, but I think it's the best solution in view of Milano-Sanremo and the Northern Classics."
Ballan had plans to do light training on Sunday morning before heading home.
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of stage five of the Tirreno-Adriatico.