After a breakthrough Giro d'Italia which yielded two stage wins and second place on the stage 12 time trial behind Rigoberto Urán (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Lampre-Merida's Diego Ulissi has withdrawn from the Italian grand tour.
Ulissi had been suffering for two days from a bacterical faringitis and was racing with a sore throat and temperature. Antibiotics failed to provide a respite for the 24-year-old, who tried to honour the race as best as he could by finishing stage 17 to Vittorio Veneto, with the team doctor making the final decision.
"I can't go on. [I have a] sore throat, temperature and antibiotics turned the stage into a suffering race," Ulissi said. "I did the best to complete today's stage, but tomorrow I won't be at the start, so I'll quit this Giro d'Italia with regret as it gave me so much satisfaction."
The results from the Giro have given Ulissi food for thought as he now considers targeting stage races.
As soon as he is back to full health, Ulissi turns his attention to his next season goal.
"There will be other important appointments in the season, the first of them will be the Italian championship. As soon as possible, I'll start training with the aim of hitting this target."