Hesjedal out of Giro with intestinal problems

Former overall winner Ryder Hesjedal abandons the 2016 Giro d'Italia

CORVARA, Italy (VN) — Ryder Hesjedal (Trek—Segrafredo), winner of the 2012 Giro d’Italia, abandoned during the Giro’s “tappone” across the Dolomites on Saturday citing stomach problems.

The 35-year-old Canadian struggled on some of the earlier climbs, and pulled out at 130km into the stage of the grand tour he won four years ago. He started the day 14th at 4:48 behind overnight leader Andrey Amador (Movistar). Hesjedal lost contact with the favorites on the final climb in Friday’s explosive stage.

Hesjedal switched from Cannondale to Trek this season on a one-year contact to lead the team at the Giro. Speaking to VeloNews earlier during this Giro, he said he might not race the Tour de France, and hinted this Giro could be his final grand tour.

Here’s what Trek posted on its team Twitter account: “Unfortunately, our DS just told us that [Hesjedal] was forced to abandon due to stomach problems.”

Earlier in the Giro, Trek teammate Fabian Cancellara and pre-race favorite Mikel Landa (Sky) also abandoned citing stomach problems.

The six-climb stage across the heart of the Dolomites is taking its toll on the peloton. Others to abandon include Arnaud Démare (FDJ), Bert De Bakker (Giant—Alpecin), Matthias Brändle (IAM), Giacomo Berlato (Nippo—Fantini), Liam Bertazzo (Wilier-Southeast), and Przemyslav Niemiec (Lampre—Merida).