Gesink abandons Vuelta a España

Belkin rider heads home for personal reasons

Team Belkin have announced that Robert Gesink will be a non-starter on stage 18 of the Vuelta a España as he has left the race to be with his family in Holland.

The Dutchman, who underwent heart surgery earlier this year, was in seventh place on the overall standings but chose to leave the race in order to be with his wife.

"My pregnant wife has undergone surgery twice this past week," Gesink said in a statement on the team website. "Her situation has not improved and she is still in the hospital. I will immediately leave the Vuelta to be with my family, who needs me right now."

Belkin expressed its support for Gesink's decision to be by his wife's side. The team also added that it "wishes them all the best in this difficult time."

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