Defending champion Egan Bernal withdraws from Tour de France

Protecting Excursion de France champion Egan Bernal has pulled out of the race forward of a mammoth degree within the Alps

GRENOBLE, France — Protecting Excursion de France champion Egan Bernal has pulled out of the race forward of a mammoth degree within the Alps, his Ineos Grenadiers workforce mentioned Wednesday.

Bernal were suffering since remaining weekend’s degree within the Jura mountains, the place he dropped greater than seven mins at the major contenders and slipped out of rivalry. Hampered by way of again ache, the 23-year-old rider misplaced extra time all the way through Tuesday’s first Alpine degree.

Bernal used to be in 16th position general, 19 mins and fours seconds at the back of race chief Primoz Roglic.

“That is clearly no longer how I sought after my Excursion de France to finish, however I agree that it’s the proper choice for me within the instances,” Bernal mentioned. “I’ve the best appreciate for this race and I am already taking a look ahead to coming again within the years forward.”

Remaining 12 months, Bernal was the primary Colombian to win the Excursion, and the youngest champion of the post-Global Struggle II generation. His workforce mentioned Bernal will attempt to recuperate as briefly as imaginable and redefine his targets for the remainder of the season.

“We’ve taken this choice with Egans’ supreme pursuits at center,” Ineos supervisor Dave Brailsford mentioned. “Egan is a real champion who likes to race, however he’s additionally a tender rider, with many Excursions forward of him.”

Bernal’s withdrawal marked the tip of Ineos’ dominance at biking’s largest match. The a success duration began in 2012 with Bradley Wiggins’ victory, when the workforce used to be referred to as Workforce Sky. The squad received seven of the remaining 8 editions with 4 other riders, however its best-placed rider this 12 months is Richard Carapaz, who stood 14th forward of Wednesday’s Degree 17.

Arguably the hardest, the trek options the Col de L. a. Madeleine and the Col de L. a. Loze, the Excursion’s best possible level this 12 months at 2,304 meters. The traffic-free cross between the ski accommodations of Meribel and Courchevel used to be opened to cyclists this 12 months after a wooded area observe used to be paved by way of native government. The remaining six kilometers of the climb are specifically tricky, with very steep sections and sharp turns.

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