Primož Roglič abandons Tour de France as injuries take toll

Primož Roglič has been struggling with injury after a heavy crash on stage 3 and was dropped early in the Alps on Saturday.

Photo: John Berry/Getty Images

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Primož Roglič has abandoned the Tour de France.

His Jumbo-Visma team confirmed Sunday morning that Roglič would not take the start of Sunday’s mountainous stage 9 to Tignes.

Last year’s runner-up Roglič went into the race as one of the major favorites, but he has been battling injury since a crash on stage 3 after tangling handlebars with Sonny Colbrelli as he tried to move up the group.

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Roglič was already struggling to keep the pace in smaller climbs and went into Saturday’s stage eight well down in the overall classification. The fast-paced opening to stage 8 saw him dropped from the peloton very early on, along with Geraint Thomas, and he crossed the line over 35 minutes behind the day’s winner Dylan Teuns.

With his GC challenge completely gone, Roglič decided to call it quits and take some rest ahead of his planned start at the Tokyo Olympics later this month.

“We made this choice together,” Roglič said. “There is no point in continuing this way. Now it’s time to recover and focus on my new goals. I am very disappointed that I have to leave the Tour, but I have to accept it as it is. I remain optimistic and look forward.”

During Wednesday’s time trial, Roglič looked like he might be over the worst of his injuries with his strong ride to seventh place. However, it proved to be an anomaly rather than a trend of improving form and he was shelled out the back of the peloton on a second category climb Friday.

“Immediately after my crash in the third stage, I did not think that crash would herald my departure from the Tour. I never look that far ahead,” he said. “After a few days, I saw that I was not making any progress in my recovery. Even though I surprised myself in the time trial, I had a bad feeling again the days after. The long and tough stages take their toll. I will now focus on recovering from that.”

Jumbo-Visma’s GC hopes are far from over at the Tour de France and the team still has a chance with Jonas Vingegaard, who is currently sitting in fifth overall at five minutes down on yellow jersey Tadej Pogačar. Wout van Aert is the team’s current best-placed rider in second overall at 1:48 down.

Roglič will now place his 2021 ambitions into the Olympic road race and a possible start at the Vuelta a España.

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