LA PLANCHE DES BELLES FILLES, France (AFP) – New Zealander Patrick Bevin became the first rider to abandon this year’s Tour de France when his CCC team announced that he would not be starting the race’s sixth stage.
Bevin fell in Monday’s stage three near Eparney and again in stage four on Tuesday when he fractured two ribs. He rode stage five on Wednesday but was in considerable pain.
“I fell on my left side and caught a wheel to the chest,” Bevin said on the CCC team website.
“I thought I had got away with it at the time and I didn’t have any trouble when I got back into the race, no skin off or anything like that.
“I thought it wasn’t too bad but as the stage wore on, it got worse.”
X-rays showed two fractured ribs on the left side, prompting the team to pull him out of the race.
“Although Patrick wanted to try and race on stage six, this morning we collectively made the decision that he should stop racing in order to recover well and focus on his goals in the second part of the season,” said CCC’s chief medical officer Max Testa.
Bevin also quit last year’s Tour after struggling to keep pace with the peloton on the 14th stage.