The Trek-Segafredo team have pulled Pieter Weening from the Giro d’Italia during Wednesday's fifth stage to Camigliatello Silano after he continued to suffer with “light dizziness’ caused by his crash during stage 4.
The 39-year-old Dutchman was considered a key domestique for Vincenzo Nibali but the Trek-Segafredo team is now down to seven riders.
Weening only joined Trek-Segafredo on June 5, having been without a team for the early stages of the 2020 season before the COVID-19 pandemic. His previous team, Roompot-Charles, folded at the end of 2019 but he kept training and was signed by Trek-Segafredo team for the busy rescheduled season.
Weening crashed hard during stage 4 to Villafranca Tirrena after taking a bidon from a roadside soigneur. He lost control of his bike and became entwined with the frame.
He got up to finish the stage and Trek-Segafredo said he had suffered normal abrasions “that will make him sore and uncomfortable for a few days, but nothing that will prevent him from starting Stage 5.”
However half way through the 225km stage in the Calabian hills, Trek-Segafredo announced Weening had been pulled from the race.
“Due to light dizziness felt during the stage, (the) team decided to withdraw @WeeningPieter.” Trek-Segafredo wrote on social media.
“The Dutchman had been closely monitored yesterday, in the night and today in the morning and the conditions had allowed the start.
“In the next few hours he will undergo clinical tests.”
Speaking to De Telegraaf on Tuesday, Weening had complained about the current design of bidons that have caused several crashes during the Giro d’Italia.
On Monday, Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) hit a bidon that fell from another rider’s bike into the road and crashed during the neutralised sector. He finished the stage to Mount Etna but did not start stage 4 after a scan revealed a fracture in his pelvis.
“A full bottle is like driving over a brick, they’re unstoppable,” Weening said.
“They used to fall apart because they had pressure caps. Now they have screw caps and that doesn’t happen anymore. They are now actually life-threatening when they roll down the street into the peloton.”
Weening is the sixth rider to abandon this year’s Giro d’Italia.
Miguel Ángel López crashed during the opening time trial in Palermo. Luca Covili (Bardiani-CSF), Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana) abandoned, while Luca Wackermann did not start stage 5 after a low-flying helicopter blew the metal barriers into the race. He suffered multiple injuries, including concussion.
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