Pre-race favourite Roglic abandons Tour de France

By Sports Desk July 04, 2021

Primoz Roglic has elected to abandon the Tour de France after a brutal first week.

The 2020 runner up – a pre-race favourite to take the famous yellow jersey – endured an opening eight stages marred by crashes and injuries.

He fell twice during the first three stages, badly bruising and grazing almost the entirety of his left side during an incident on stage three.

In a gruelling first Alpine stage on Saturday, Jumbo-Visma rider Roglic crossed in 175th, third to last, having dropped 35 minutes on the leaders, and on Sunday he decided to call time on his campaign.

"We took the decision altogether with the team. It doesn't make sense to continue the way it was going at the end," Roglic said in a statement from his team.

"Now we'll definitely try to recover and focus on the new goals."

Roglic came across the finish line on Saturday alongside 2018 winner Geraint Thomas, who has also seen his general classification hopes dashed after finishing 33 minutes off the pace.

Tadej Pogacar is now the clear favourite for the yellow jersey, following a remarkable ride from the 22-year-old defending champion on Saturday.

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    Egan Bernal says he almost died as a result of the injuries he suffered following a horror crash in training this week.

    The INEOS Grenadiers rider was involved in a crash while training close to his hometown of Bogota in Colombia on Monday.

    Bernal, the 2019 Tour de France champion and victor of the 2021 Giro d'Italia, struck a parked bus at high speed while riding his time trial bike.

    Posting on Instagram, Bernal wrote: "Having had a 95 per cent chance of becoming a paraplegic and nearly losing my life doing what I love to do most, today I want to thank God, the Clinica Universidad de La Sabana, all the specialists for doing the impossible, my family, friends and all of you for your wishes. 

    "I'm still in the ICU waiting for more surgeries but trusting in God everything will be fine."

    Bernal underwent two operations following the incident, with the hospital confirming the surgeries were a success.

    An INEOS statement later clarified the extent of the Colombian's injuries.

    "Egan suffered a fractured vertebrae, a fractured right femur, a fractured right patella, chest trauma, a punctured lung and several fractured ribs in the crash. Doctors were able to medically pin his right leg and stabilise the vertebrae fracture in two separate surgeries," the statement read.

    A hospital statement, reported by BBC Sport, read: "Egan Bernal Gomez has continued with the expected recovery and with a favourable trend.

    "Egan continues with his rehabilitation plan, he has not shown signs of infection, he is also in good spirits.

    "Tomorrow he will have two surgeries, which are secondary procedures that are not life-threatening."

  • INEOS Grenadiers issue Bernal update as Froome sends support INEOS Grenadiers issue Bernal update as Froome sends support

    INEOS Grenadiers have released an update on Egan Bernal, revealing the full extent of his injuries.

    Bernal, the winner of the 2019 Tour de France and last year's Giro d'Italia, was involved in a crash while training close to his hometown of Bogota in Colombia on Monday.

    According to local media reports, the 25-year-old struck a parked bus while riding at a high speed.

    Bernal underwent two operations at the Clinica Universidad de La Sabana. On Tuesday, the hospital confirmed that the surgeries had been a success, but the rider remained in intensive care.

    INEOS subsequently released a further update on the Colombian.

    "Following yesterday's training accident, Egan remains in a stable condition in intensive care after two successful surgeries," the statement read.

    "Egan suffered a fractured vertebrae, a fractured right femur, a fractured right patella, chest trauma, a punctured lung and several fractured ribs in the crash. Doctors were able to medically pin his right leg and stabilise the vertebrae fracture in two separate surgeries.

    "He is now in an intensive care unit where other potential secondary injuries are being managed, as well as his body's response to the trauma.

    "The team would like to thank the medical staff at Clinica Universidad de La Sabana and everyone who has sent messages of support to Egan. All of our focus is on ensuring Egan is given the best possible care as he starts his road to recovery."

    Among those sending support to Bernal was former team-mate Chris Froome, who himself has had to overcome serious injuries to return to cycling.

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    Bernal was training near his hometown in Bogota when the accident happened on Monday and was taken to the Clinica Universidad de La Sabana to receive treatment.

    According to local media reports, the 25-year-old struck a parked bus while riding at a high speed and suffered fractures in his right leg and kneecap as well as a collapsed lung.

    The 2019 Tour de France and 2021 Giro d'Italia winner was said to have been "stable" in a statement released by his Ineos Grenadiers team on Monday.

    Bernal has since undergone further surgery to repair dislocated fractures in his spine.

    A statement from the hospital on Tuesday confirmed the operation had "kept intact the neurological integrity and conserved the functionality of the segments involved".

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    Bernal, who has suffered with a recurring back problem over the past two years, extended his contract with Ineos Grenadiers to 2026 earlier this month.

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