Elia Viviani and Caleb Ewan withdrew from the Giro d’Italia at the end of the eleventh stage just before the start of the mountain stages.
Viviani won four stages en route to a points classification victory in the 2018 Giro, but he could not repeat his feat 12 months later. The Italian finished in second place on three occasions this year, before he was kept off the podium in a late sprint on Wednesday.
“It’s clear that I am not at peace,” said Viviani. “In the morning I’m happy to meet the fans but then something doesn’t work. If I had understood what was not working, I would have won today. I probably have to take a moment with myself and recover my mental energy. I will try to find the power I had before arriving here and that I showed in the first stages.
“I did three second places and a first place that was downgraded, maybe I miss the explosiveness but I don’t think that my shape is gone. I’m sorry because it would have been nice to win in the Italian jersey here. I’m not angry but disappointed, it’s normal when you don’t achieve your goals. My Giro ends today, I have to find serenity and pull the plug. If I had won maybe the decision would have been different.”
Caleb Ewan won in Novi Ligure, his second triumph of the race, but he also withdrew.
“I think it makes sense that the sprinters leave the Giro prematurely,” Ewan said. “From now on, there are virtually only tough stages left, so not very suited to us.
“I think that the organisation prefers to have to best sprinters at the start. Although they do not finish the Giro, it still guarantees some nice battles in the flat stages.
“I will take some days of rest now and then go on a training camp to prepare for the Tour.”