Cape Town - Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider Louis Meintjes has been forced to withdraw from the Tour of California after sustaining a wrist fracture in a crash in the final stages of Wednesday's Stage 4 finish in Morro Bay.
The incident happened with just over 3km remaining, and saw a number of key general classification riders affected including race leader Tejay van Garderen.
Meintjes, 27, bravely completed the stage in obvious discomfort and was immediately seen to the medical team at the finish, after which he was taken to a local hospital for further investigation. He will now travel to Hamburg for further treatment by a specialist hand surgeon.
Meintjes had only recently returned to racing at the Tour de Romandie after a lengthy spell on the sidelines following a groin injury sustained in a crash at Paris-Nice.
He had shown some strong form in California, being placed just outside the top-20 on the general classification with the queen stage, the finish at Mt. Baldy, still to come.
An update on his health will be provided in due course.