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Rigoberto Uran has withdrawn from the 2018 Tour de France ahead of the start of stage 12 on Tuesday. The Colombian crashed heavily on Sunday’s Roubaix stage, resulting in pain his left leg and arm and compromising his ability to pedal.
EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale harbored hope for a rest day recovery, but the effects of the crash lingered.
“Today I have to share some bad news,” said Uran. “I didn’t recover after the crash. Yesterday in the first real climb, all day, there was pain in my body.”
“The most important thing is the rider’s health,” said head sport director Charly Wegelius. “Rigo hasn’t recovered from his crash on the cobbled stage, and his position on the bike is compromised and could create further issues down the line,” Wegelius said. “We along with Rigo felt it best to pull out of the Tour this morning so he can recover and look toward the remainder of the season.
“Ultimately this decision comes down to the rider,” Wegelius added. “If a rider wants to continue the race, we look to ways to do that safely. If a rider feels it best to pull out, we do not push them to continue.”
Prior to Uran’s crash, EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale had enjoyed a strong first week in the Tour. Highlights included reaching the finish on the right side of several splits in the bunch throughout the opening week, exceeding expectations in the team time trial and a quick reaction to a mass pile-up in the closing kilometers of stage four. Uran had worked his way up to sixth overall ahead of stage nine before tumbling out of general classification contention following the crash.
“It’s difficult for me and also for my team,” said Uran. “We prepared for this Tour, all season we were focused on the Tour. Sometimes this happens, and this time, I think it’s the best decision for me to recover and to recover well.”
Uran’s exit signals a shift in tactics for #PinkArgyle. The team’s Tour squad had been built around Uran, who finished second in the 2017 Tour de France. The riders chosen to support Uran’s quest to win the Tour will now target stages in the 10 remaining stages. It’s a familiar approach for the American-registered squad.
“We’ll miss Rigo of course – he’s a great leader and a wonderful presence to have on the bus and with the staff,” said team CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “We look forward to getting him back healthy for the rest of the season. The guys that remain are fighters, and we have some chances coming up in the mountains. For us, another Tour begins today.”