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 level within the Alps

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

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

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

“That is clearly now not how I sought after my Excursion de France to finish, however I agree that it’s the proper determination for me within the cases,” 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.”

Ultimate 12 months, Bernal become the primary Colombian to win the Excursion, and the youngest champion of the post-International Struggle II technology. His group mentioned Bernal will attempt to get better as briefly as imaginable and redefine his targets for the remainder of the season.

“We’ve got taken this determination with Egans’ superb pursuits at middle,” 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 hit length began in 2012 with Bradley Wiggins’ victory, when the group used to be referred to as Staff Sky. The squad received seven of the closing 8 editions with 4 other riders, however its best-placed rider this 12 months is Richard Carapaz, who stood 14th forward of Wednesday’s Level 17.

Arguably the hardest, the trek options the Col de Los angeles Madeleine and the Col de Los angeles Loze, the Excursion’s easiest level this 12 months at 2,304 meters. The traffic-free go between the ski hotels of Meribel and Courchevel used to be opened to cyclists this 12 months after a wooded area observe used to be paved through native government. The closing six kilometers of the climb are in particular tricky, with very steep sections and sharp turns.

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