LEVENS cyclist James Knox is out the Giro d'Italia after losing a battle with an injury sustained in the early stages of the race.

The 23-year-old, the first Cumbrian to ride in one of cycling's Grand Tour's, has impressed for his Deceuninck – Quick-Step team.

But due to an injury that he sustained after his accident in Stage 4 (Orbetello – Frascati), medical staff have advised Knox to retire after 12 stages.

“I have been struggling with this knee injury, but we were still hoping I could make some kind of recovery on the flat stages and the rest day; unfortunately, today was the first real test on the climbs, and taking into account how I felt and what’s still to come, we decided to call it a race,” Knox explained.

“Despite this, it’s been really great to be here, part of the team, and to live this experience. I am of course pretty disappointed, as the crashes on Stage 3 and 4 ruined the fun for me and put me on survival mode, but I hope to return to the Giro d’Italia in the near future, because it’s such a great race.”

Knox will go for a precautionary MRI scan in Belgium to make sure there will be no further complications, following which a decision on his program for the second part of the season will be taken.