The Dutchman ended a difficult week with a fall on stage 4 that ruled him out of the race. He came into the event still recovering from a cold and lost time in two key stages before Saturday's mountain summit finish. Although he did not sustain any serious injuries in his fall, he was forced to quit the race. The crash occurred on the poorly surfaced roads that have littered the race. On a descent with around 70km remaining in the stage Dumoulin hit a rough service, resulting in his front wheel slipping out.
"They tried to fill up a whole with some tarmac but it wasn't dry. Now my wounds are covered in tar. I landed on my chest and my left side. It's bruised and my chest hurts but there are no fractures. I tried to continue but I was in a lot of pain. It was enough," he told reporters at the finish of the stage, having arrived there in his team car.
"Yesterday was bad and today I felt worse. I'm not fit since my sickness. I'm healthy but not strong and fit."
The fall and resulting departure from the race is another blow for Dumoulin in a season that has been littered with episodes of bad luck and misfortune. He was due to take part in Milan-San Remo next week before an extended block of altitude training as part of his Giro d'Italia preparation. The Italian one-day Classic is now in doubt for Dumoulin, although it is too early to determine whether he will add another race to his pre-Giro build up.
"We don't know yet. I don't know and the team doesn't know. We have to see and I'll take a few days off. I feel shit, and I feel tired. I have to recover, and after a few days, we'll know more. I still have time before May."
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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