CLUSES, France (Reuters) – Primoz Roglic, last year’s runner up, abandoned the Tour de France before stage nine after suffering multiple bruises when he crashed in stage three, the Slovenian cyclist said on Sunday.
“We made the decision together with the team, it doesn’t make sense to continue. We’re going to try to recover and focus on new goals,” the Jumbo-Visma rider said in a statement.
Roglic’s title hopes faded as he finished Saturday’s eighth stage more than 35 minutes behind Belgian Dylan Teuns.
The two-time Vuelta champion, who lost the Tour last year in the final time trial, had already been dropped by the overall contenders in the seventh stage on Friday.
“I was going through the days but it wasn’t taking anywhere really,” he said. “I was in a lot of pain. It was just too much for my body and I cannot race. I’m disappointed but I have to accept it. It’s the right decision.”
Roglic will now focus on the Tokyo Olympics’ road race.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; editing by Alex Richardson)