(Reuters) - Spanish rider Mikel Landa was forced to abandon the Giro d'Italia after falling ill on Tuesday's 10th stage.
"Unfortunately Mikel Landa has been forced to abandon the #Giro through illness. We will provide more details as soon as we have them," Team Sky posted on their Twitter feed.
Landa, who joined Sky from Astana at the end of last season, was the British's outfit's leader for the Giro and was one of the pre-race favorites to win the pink jersey.
He was dropped on the first climb of the 219km stage from Campi Bisenzio to Sestola and fell several minutes behind the peloton, clearly struggling, before quitting the race.
The team have not yet indicated the nature of Landa's illness.
Prolific climber Landa, third overall last year, had gone into the stage in eighth position, one minute and 18 seconds down on GC leader Gianluca Brambilla with his favorite terrain still to come.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman,; Editing by Neville Dalton)