Team Sky's Richie Porte has abandoned the Giro d'Italia on the race's second rest day. Porte came into the race as Team Sky's leader for the general classification and sat within the top three after the opening week of racing. However, he suffered a series of setbacks in the second week and lost 27 minutes on Sunday's mountainous stage 15.
“The Giro has been my main goal this year and I’ve worked incredibly hard all season with this race in mind," Porte said in a statement on Team Sky's website.
“I’ve had a lot of back luck this week with the puncture and the time penalty, but it was the crash on Friday that has taken its toll.
“I fell heavily on my knee and hip which caused me a lot of pain on Saturday’s time trail and yesterday’s stage. I just wanted to keep trying and give it everything but now the medical team have advised me not to continue.
Porte's departure opens the door for Leopold Konig, who has moved up to fifth overall in the race. Porte's primary goal now is to recover from his injuries and prepare for the Tour de France.
“I'm gutted it’s ended this way and that I can’t stay and support Leo, Elia and the team in the last week. They’ve been outstanding every step of the way and to not be able to repay that is tough. “The plan for me now is to take some time off the bike, get the medical treatment that I need and reset my goals for the rest of the season and come back fighting. Hopefully I can get myself ready for the Tour team.”