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Kittel withdraws from Giro

Marcel Kittel, the winner of successive stages in Belfast and Dublin, has abandoned the Giro d'Italia before the resumption due to illness.

The 26-year-old Giant-Shimano rider from Germany did not start the 112-kilometre fourth stage from Giovinazzo to Bari in southern Italy following Monday's transfer day from Ireland due to a fever.

Kittel told his team's official website, teamgiantshimano.com: "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.

"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."