Rabobank sprinter Oscar Freire is expected to abandon the Tour de Suisse after Wednesday's stage in order to return to his home country of Spain for sinus surgery.
The three-time world champion has suffered from nasal polyps in recent years which cause difficulty breathing. He had a similar surgery last summer after being forced to skip the Giro d'Italia because of a sinus infection. He underwent surgery following last year's Tour de France.
Freire recovered sufficiently to race the Vuelta a España, and went on to win Paris-Tours at the end of the season.
The problems cropped up again this Spring, and Freire, winner of two stages in February's Vuelta a Andalucia, missed racing Gent-Wevelgem.
The next two stages of the Tour de Suisse are likely the last for the sprinters, and the 35-year-old Freire will look to take his first victory here before going under the knife on Thursday. His Rabobank team did not give an estimate for when the Spaniard will return to competition.