BARI, Italy, May 13, 2014 (AFP) – Germany’s Marcel Kittel, winner of two of
the first three stages of the Giro d’Italia, withdrew before the start of
Tuesday’s fourth stage because of a fever.
“I am very disappointed about leaving the Giro after such a strong start in
good condition, but I do not feel healthy and I am not in the position to
start the race in this condition,” said Kittel, who rides for the
“I want to thank my team for their support these past few days and wish
them the best of luck for the rest of the race.”
Team Giant-Shimano coach Marc Reef added: “We made the decision here before
the start of the fourth stage that Marcel would not continue the race.
“Two days ago, after the third stage he already indicated that he did not
feel 100%. Yesterday morning he said that he felt better, but this morning at
breakfast he had the same complaints and after a few check-ups with our team
physician we saw that the fever had deteriorated and so we made the decision
together that he should not continue.
“It is a hard decision and a big loss for the team and a pity for Marcel.
But we have to move on and with Luka [Mezgec] we have another strong sprinter
on board. We will rebuild our positioning in the sprint train and keep
challenging with Luka on the flats now.”
Tuesday’s stage sees riders tackle a 112km course between Giovinazzo and