Simon Yates abandons 2022 Giro d'Italia

Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco)
Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco) (Image credit: SprintCyclingAgency2022)

Double Giro d'Italia stage winner Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco) has abandoned the 2022 edition on a cold, rainy stage 17 from Ponte di Legno to Lavarone due to "persistent knee issues", according to his team.

Yates was lying 21st in the general classification more than half an hour behind race leader Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers).

After winning the stage 2 individual time trial in Budapest, Yates suffered a knee injury in a crash on stage 4. His hopes of taking the race went up in smoke on the Blockhaus climb on stage 9 when he lost over 11 minutes.

He bounced back to win stage 14 in Turin but even then expressed his disappointment not to be in the hunt for his second Grand Tour victory after taking out the 2018 Vuelta a España, and revealed that he had considered abandoning in the days before his stage win.

"Yates' fall on Mount Etna and subsequent knee problem (likely edema of the bony spongiosa of the patella) weighed down on the rider for all following stages of the Giro d'Italia," BikeExchange-Jayco team doctor Matteo Beltemacchi stated in a press release.

"Despite daily therapy and Simon's tenacity, that resulted in a second stage win, the knee pain grew worse and worse, eventually leading to the decision for his retirement from the race."

Yates has had mixed luck in Grand Tours since that Vuelta overall victory. In the late-season rescheduled Giro d'Italia in 2020, he tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced out of the race.

In 2021, Yates won the Alpe di Mera stage and finished third overall behind Egan Bernal and Damiano Caruso. Then, in the Tour de France last year, he crashed out on stage 13.

The 29-year-old came into the Giro d'Italia as one of the main favourites, having finished second overall at Paris-Nice and winning two stages at the Vuelta Asturias.

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