Grenoble (dpa) – Last year’s winner Egan Bernal has dropped out of the 107th Tour de France. Shortly before the start of the royal stage in Grenoble, his team Ineos announced that the 23-year-old Colombian had decided not to do that.
“Egan is a true champion who loves racing, but he is also a young rider with a lot of tours to go and at this point we think it would be wiser to stop racing,” said Team Principal Dave Brailsford. Bernal will now recover and set new goals for the season.
For the 17th stage from Grenoble to Meribel Col de la Loze, he was 16th in the general classification, just over 19 minutes behind the leader, Primož Roglic from Slovenia. On Sunday, he broke into the 15th section and lost all chances. When Bremer Lennard Kämna won the 16th stage on Tuesday, he fell even further behind.
“Of course I didn’t want my Tour de France to end like this, but I agree that under the circumstances this is the right decision for me,” Bernal said in the team statement. “I have the utmost respect for this race and I am already looking forward to coming back in the years to come.” Last year he was the youngest driver to win the Tour de France.