Cavendish is regarded as the best sprinter in cycling
Mark Cavendish will not continue in the Giro d'Italia after winning his third stage of the tour on Friday.
The British sprinter, 24, won the 13th stage but will not continue when the race heads into the Apennine mountains on for Saturday's 14th stage.
Team Colombia manager Rolf Aldag said: "He has had a very successful couple of weeks at the Giro but he is still young and he has a long career ahead of him.
"The best thing for him is to take some recovery before the Tour de France."
Team Columbia will now focus on overall success with Michael Rogers and Thomas Lovkvist, while Edvald Boasson Hagen is expected to take over sprinting duties in the final stages.
Cavendish won his third win at the Giro d'Italia by pipping sprint rival Alessandro Petacchi in a dramatic finish to the 176km 13th stage.
Also pulling out of the Giro is Italian rider Filippo Pozzato from the Katusha team, who injured his knee in a fall on the 12th stage.
"I feel pain in my right knee. I've talked with the team management and we have decided that it's best to try to totally recover for future races," he said.
Pozzato was in 51st place overall ahead of Saturday's 14th stage.