André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) abandoned the Tour de France during yesterday’s mountainous stage from Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arcs to Alpe d’Huez.
The German sprinter was struggling during the first kilometres of the Col de la Madeleine, the first climb of the day, and was dropped from the peloton. The former German champion had teammates Jasper De Buyst and Marcel Sieberg by his side.
On the Col de la Croix de Fer Greipel quit the race, together with Marcel Sieberg. It’s the first time in eight participations that Greipel, who has won eleven Tour stages, has abandoned the Tour. Tiesj Benoot and Jens Keukeleire had been forced to abandon the Tour earlier due to crashes, and there are now just four Lotto Soudal riders left in the race.
Greipel wasn’t the only sprinter to withdraw from the Tour during yesterday’s stage as previous stage winners Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) and Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) also pulled out.
André Greipel: “The past three days weren’t easy and too hard for me. I knew that this would be another tough day in the saddle. I could only hope the peloton would ride up the first climb rather slowly, but that wasn’t the case. Soon, I felt this would be the end of the Tour for me. Others might choose to hold on to the team car, but if I can’t arrive at the finish on my own, I rather go home. I’m not sad; I’m a realist and a fair sportsman.”