Omega Pharma's André Greipel had to abandon Tirreno-Adriatico ahead of stage two on Thursday. The German suffered facial injuries due to a crash before stage one, a team time trial. He was able to take the start with his teammates after getting some stitches from his team staff, but this morning, his injuries prevented him from continuing the race.
"His left eye is completely closed," directeur sportif Dirk de Wolf told reporters on Thursday morning. "In these conditions, it would be irresponsible to continue."
Greipel's departure from Tirreno comes on a day where the stage almost certainly will end in a bunch sprint. The 202km-stage to Indicatore covers mostly flat roads except for two KOM-rated hills.
The tall German is currently fine-tuning his form for Milano-Sanremo, scheduled to take place in ten days. On Wednesday evening, he wanted to continue Tirreno in view of the 'Classicissima'. "If I want to start in Milano-Sanremo, I need the kilometres here," he had said.