GRENOBLE, France (AP) — Defending Tour de France winner Egan Bernal has pulled out of the race in advance of a mammoth stage in the Alps, his Ineos Grenadiers group stated Wednesday.
Bernal experienced been battling because very last weekend’s phase in the Jura mountains, where by he dropped a lot more than 7 minutes on the key contenders and slipped out of contention. Hampered by back ache, the 23-12 months-outdated rider misplaced extra time during Tuesday’s first Alpine stage.
Bernal was in sixteenth spot total, 19 minutes and fours seconds at the rear of race chief Primoz Roglic.
“This is clearly not how I needed my Tour de France to stop, but I agree that it is the suitable determination for me in the situation,” Bernal mentioned. “I have the biggest respect for this race and I’m already searching forward to coming back in the many years ahead.”
Previous yr, Bernal turned the initially Colombian to win the Tour, and the youngest winner of the publish-Environment War II era. His workforce stated Bernal will try to get well as speedily as possible and redefine his aims for the relaxation of the time.
“We have taken this selection with Egans’ finest interests at coronary heart,” Ineos manager Dave Brailsford reported. “Egan is a true champion who enjoys to race, but he is also a youthful rider, with quite a few Tours forward of him.”
Bernal’s withdrawal marked the conclusion of Ineos’ dominance at cycling’s largest function. The effective period of time commenced in 2012 with Bradley Wiggins’ victory, when the crew was called Workforce Sky. The squad won 7 of the past 8 editions with four unique riders, but its best-placed rider this calendar year is Richard Carapaz, who stood 14th in advance of Wednesday’s Stage 17.
Arguably the toughest, the trek features the Col de La Madeleine and the Col de La Loze, the Tour’s best issue this calendar year at two,304 meters. The visitors-free of charge pass concerning the ski resorts of Meribel and Courchevel was opened to cyclists this 12 months right after a forest keep track of was paved by nearby authorities. The past six kilometers of the climb are specially difficult, with very steep sections and sharp turns.
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