GRENOBLE, France (Reuters) – Defending champion Egan Bernal has withdrawn from the Tour de France forward of stage 17 after dropping out of competition on the weekend, his Ineos Grenadiers group stated on Wednesday.
Bernal’s hopes of profitable the race fell away when he cracked within the fifteenth stage and he was dropped from the primary bunch within the ascent to Saint-Nizier affected by again pains in Tuesday’s sixteenth stage.
Bernal had stated compensating for his again led to some discomfort in his knee.
“That is clearly not how I wished my Tour de France to finish, however I agree that it’s the proper choice for me within the circumstances,” Bernal stated in an announcement https://www.ineosgrenadiers.com/article/egan-bernal-withdraws-from-the-tour-de-france only a day after saying he wished to experience to Paris.
“I’ve the best respect for this race and I’m already trying ahead to coming again within the years forward.”
Wednesday’s seventeenth stage is arguably the hardest of this yr’s Tour, ending 2,304 metres above sea degree at high of the Col de la Loze, a punishing 21.5km ascent at a median gradient of seven.8%.
Bernal had regarded out of types for the reason that starting of the Tour, which is being led by Primoz Roglic forward of fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar.
The 23-year-old Bernal would deal with his restoration from the Tour and reset his targets for the remainder of the season, his group stated. They didn’t specify the explanation for his withdrawal.
“We have taken this choice with Egan’s finest pursuits at coronary heart,” Ineos group principal Dave Brailsford stated.
“Egan is a real champion who likes to race, however he’s additionally a younger rider, with many Excursions forward of him and at this level, on stability, we really feel it’s wiser for him to cease racing.”
The Colombian had pulled out of the Criterium du Dauphine with again pains final month.
Final yr, Bernal grew to become the youngest rider to win the Tour de France in 110 years.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot, writing by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Modifying by Peter Rutherford)