Giro d’Italia: Eddie Dunbar out after stage 2 crash

'He hasn’t had the luck of the Irish, has he?' Matt White says of injured Irishman as more bad fortune curtails Jayco AlUla GC hopes

ClockUpdated 09:58, Monday 6th May 2024. Published 09:25, Monday 6th May 2024
Eddie Dunbar finished stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia after a crash but will not start stage 3

© Getty Images

Eddie Dunbar finished stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia after a crash but will not start stage 3

Eddie Dunbar (Jayco AlUla) will not start stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia, suffering from injuries sustained in a crash on stage 2 to Oropa.

The Irishman was involved in a small crash in the middle of the peloton with 63km to go in Sunday’s stage, alongside teammate Filippo Zana and Dutch sprinter Olav Kooij (Visma-Lease a Bike).

Despite hitting the ground hard and looking in discomfort, Dunbar was able to get back on his bike and finish the stage, 5:56 down on stage winner and race leader Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates).

Read more: Giro d'Italia stage 2: Tadej Pogačar takes first summit finish and maglia rosa

However, his team confirmed on Monday morning that he will not continue in the Italian Grand Tour.

“Unfortunately following a crash on stage two of the Giro d’Italia, Eddie Dunbar will not start today’s third stage,” a short statement posted on social media read.

“The Irishman was able to finish the stage, but after further examinations by the team doctor, the decision has been made to withdraw the 27-year-old from the race due to a sustained injury under his right kneecap and bodily abrasions.”

Dunbar has had poor luck so far this season, most recently dropping out of the Tour de Romandie before the final stage, and being besieged by crashes in the stage races and hilly events that are meant to suit him.

“He certainly hasn’t had the luck of the Irish, has he?" racing director Matt White said to GCN shortly after the news was confirmed.

"It’s been two years in a row disrupted. Last year he came here on a very limited race programme after two crashes, and same again this year. It’s a shame for him, he’s put a lot of work in to get here and [be] ready."

Though Dunbar’s five-minute time loss on Sunday had already put a significant dent in his general classification ambitions, losing him from the race completely represents a blow to Jayco AlUla’s hopes in the mountains.

On the nature of his injury, White said that it was not too serious an issue.

"It should be a pretty fast turn around, but it’s just something that wouldn’t heal while continuing to race," he said.

Dunbar started this race as GC leader, with White saying they thought he was capable of taking a top-10 finish. Luke Plapp was set to take a more free role in the overall and harder stages, whilst Caleb Ewan is their designated sprinter.

Read more: Caleb Ewan in the Giro d’Italia for the long haul alongside debutant Luke Plapp

With the 27-year-old now out of the Giro, more pressure will be on the shoulders of Plapp, who is currently sitting 21st on GC, two and a half minutes down on Pogačar after showing promising signs on the first weekend.

Though it's a change for the team, White insisted that the team were not dwelling on the setback.

“Inevitably we’ll move on quick," he said. "We’ll start to focus on Caleb today, and then stages. It just means we won’t have anyone riding for GC here. It is a shame, but it’s stage racing, things change quickly.”

Jayco AlUla will also look to the likes of Zana and Alessandro Di Marchi when the race returns to the mountains, whilst Ewan will be hoping to get his first chance in a sprint finish on stage 3’s flat finish.

Dunbar is only the second ride to leave this year's Giro, after Robert Gesink (Visma-Lease a Bike) was unable to start stage 2 after a crash on the opening day.

For everything you need to know about the 2024 Giro d'Italia, from the history of the race to this year's route and start list, be sure to check out our dedicated race hub.

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