May 17, 2013
Ryder Hesjedal drops out of Giro d'Italia
By QMI Agency

Ryder Hesjedal had to pull out of the Giro d'Italia on Friday due to an unspecified illness. (Luk Benies/AFP/Files)

Defending Giro d'Italia champion Ryder Hesjedal withdrew prior to Friday's 13th stage, citing an unspecified illness.

The Victoria native, racing for Team Garmin-Sharp, was suffering since the Stage 8 time trial on May 11.

"It's heartbreaking," said Hesjedal in a news release. "I want to be here for my team and for all the people who have supported me to get me here to this point.

"I built my entire season around the Giro and I came here feeling great, but I have been suffering since the TT (time trial). We're working on it, but we're not sure what's wrong. There's a virus that's been going around, so it could be that, or severe allergies."

Hesjedal had slipped to 38th place, 32 minutes and 55 seconds behind leader Vincenzo Nibali of Italy before Friday's stage.

"His condition is not improving so, we decided it's time for him to go home, get testing done and focus on getting healthy again," said team doctor Shannon Sovndal.



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