Primož Roglič has abandoned the Tour de France 2021 ahead of stage nine.
The Slovenian had been among the favourites to challenge for victory in this year’s race, but his hopes of winning the yellow jersey were dashed following a crash on stage three.
Roglič had battle through the following stages, including an impressive ride on the stage five time trial, but on Sunday morning (July 4) his Jumbo-Visma team announced he would not be starting stage nine.
The 31-year-old said: “We took the decision together with the team. It doesn’t make sense to continue the way it was going. We definitely tried to recover and focus on new goals.”
Troubles started for double Vuelta a España winner Roglič around 10km from the finish of a hectic stage three, as he crashed at speed near the head of the peloton.
Roglič avoided any fractures, but he was left cut and bruised after the fall, but Jumbo-Visma were hoping he may be able to recover enough to target stage wins later in the race.
On the stage five time trial, Roglič looked like he may be back near his best on the bike, as he limited his losses and finished seventh on the stage.
But as the 2021 Tour hit the Alps on stage eight, Roglič’s injuries began to rear their head, as he was dropped on the penultimate climb on the road to Le Creusot and dropped completely out of the GC race.
Then on stage eight, Roglič’s woes continued as he was dropped again and finished the stage in the gruppetto, more than 30 minutes down.
He added: “I’m disappointed. I didn’t plan for it to be this way, but in the end I have to accept it.”
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Britain’s Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) has also dropped out of the GC after his own crash on stage three.
Thomas is now more than 35 minutes down overall after he finished stage eight in the grupetto with Roglič, still suffering from the dislocated shoulder he sustained in his crash.