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Team DSM confirmed the news in a tweet during the stage, citing illness as the cause of Bardet’s departure.
“We are sad to confirm that Romain Bardet has abandoned the Giro. After becoming sick during yesterday’s stage, his condition worsened overnight and despite all efforts, he is no longer in a position to continue the race,” the team wrote.
Bardet came into stage 13 of the race sitting fourth overall in the general classification. The 31-year-old was targeting the Giro d’Italia for the second year running and looked in fine form during the first half of the race.
After a solid time trial on stage 2 he claimed second on the key Blockhaus mountain stage. With only two time trials in the entire race, the climber stood an excellent chance of finishing on the podium.
However reports circulated that Bardet’s illness was so bad that he had to stop at least once during stage 13 before eventually pulling over to the side of the road and getting into the team car.
The departure of Bardet leaves Team DSM with several questions over their future tactics in the race. Alberto Dainese won stage 12 and will target the rest of the sprint stages alongside Cees Bol.
Thymen Arensman, who is set to move to Ineos Grenadiers, came into Friday’s stage sitting 12th overall at 1:27. The Dutch rider will likely become the team’s main focus in the mountains.