Published Tuesday, 13 May 2014
Marcel Kittel celebrates winning Stage Two in Belfast. (© UTV)
The German rider, who celebrated his 26th birthday with a second successive stage win in Dublin on Sunday, has been struck down by a fever and will miss the remainder of the Grand Tour as it continues in Italy on Tuesday.
Giant Shimano's Kittel took to Twitter to say: "So, the Giro got me earlier then I thought. Absolutely disappointed that I have to leave this beautiful race today because of a fever."
The powerful man's withdrawal leaves the door open for Team Sky's Ben Swift and FDJ.FR rider Nacer Bouhanni to fight for the Maglia Rossa, awarded to the best sprinter in the race.
Kittel now though is likely to take a week off before building his preparations for the Tour de France, which begins in Yorkshire on 5 July.
© UTV News