US rider Dombrowski out of Giro with concussion, Landa set for surgery

Ascoli Piceno (Italy) (AFP) –


American rider Joe Dombrowski pulled out of the Giro d'Italia before Thursday's sixth stage, a day after suffering concussion in a crash which also forced contender Mikel Landa out of the race.

Dombrowski, 30, hit a traffic island in the centre of the road and fell into the peloton, 4.5km from the finish of fifth stage in Cattolica.

Spaniard Landa and Frenchman Francois Bidard, who both retired, were also caught in the crash.

"Unfortunately today I won't be able to start the Giro," Dombrowski, sporting a badly bruised left eye, said in a video posted on social media before the start of the sixth stage.

"We did the concussion protocol last night and followed up again this morning and I didn't pass that, so with the doctors and the team we decided it was not safe for me to start today."

Examinations carried out at the hospital in Riccione at the end of the stage had not shown any fracture for Dombrowski.

"Obviously I'm really disappointed," continued Dombrowski, who won the fourth stage to climb back to second place overall behind race leader Alessandro De Marchi of Italy.

"It was a really dangerous final yesterday," he explained.

"I just wanted to take the risk to be in front so there was no time gaps because I felt today was a really unique opportunity that maybe I could take the pink jersey.

"It's not so often you have an opportunity like that.

"Now I'm just going to focus on recovery and head home. We'll look to see what the next races are. Everything is OK for me and thanks for all the sport."

Earlier his Team UAE Emirates said "neurophysiological tests revealed a disturbance of balance" which had increased in the morning.

Landa spent the night in hospital before being discharged but will undergo surgery on Friday, his team Bahrain confirmed.

The 31-year-old Basque rider, who finished third in the 2015 Giro, broke his collarbone.

Another big name victim of Wednesday's stage was Russian Pavel Sivakov who hit the deck 16 kilometres from the finish.

Sivakov, charged with helping his Ineos teammate and 2019 Tour de France winner Egan Bernal in his bid for overall victory, lost over 13 minutes in the general classification and later pulled out of the race with a shoulder injury.

Thursday's sixth stage is a tough 160km run from Grotte di Frasassi to Ascoli Piceno featuring a 15.5km climb with De Marchi in danger of being knocked off the top of the overall standings.