RUPERT GUINNESS May 28, 2012
Passo dello Stelvio: Australian Jack Bobridge withdrew from the Giro d'Italia one day shy of its finish in Milan on Sunday in order to safeguard his Olympic Games ambitions in the team pursuit.
Bobridge (Orica-GreenEDGE) was dropped early in the 220-kilometre 20th stage of the Giro from Caldes to the summit of the Passo dello Stelvio that included five mountain passages. Then, soon after, he was pulled from the race by his team for precautionary reasons.
Bobridge, for whom the Giro was his first road race of the season, had found the three-week race tough going. Although, the purpose of his start was to accrue some road kilometres and to boost his grand tour experience with a view to his planned switch to the road after the Olympics.
Asked about Bobridge's early exit, the Orica-GreenEDGE head sports director, Matt White, told the Herald: ''During the stage [on Friday] Jack had some early signs of an overuse injury. So as a precaution we stopped Jack [on Saturday] with the Olympics always the focus. He has had an optimal load here this month and as disappointing as it may be to stop so close to the finish we are very happy with Jack's performance and commitment to the team goals.''