Rohan Dennis Abandons Tour Without Explanation

Rohan Dennis climbed off his bike early in Thursday's 12th stage of the Tour de France and neither the Australian nor his Bahrain Merida team would offer an explanation.

The Australian rider threw in the towel at the start of the Peyresourde, the first of two climbs on the stage, after he had been busy trying to make the early breakaway.

His retirement comes on the eve of Friday's time trial in Pau where the current world champion and former one-hour world record holder would have been one of the favourites.

"We are as surprised as you are. We are also disappointed. We were expecting a great performance from him tomorrow in the time trial. It was his decision to stop at the feed zone," said Gorazd Stangelj, the team's sports director, after the stage.

Dennis was being primed as a Grand Tour contender who could pulverise time-trials and defend himself on the climbs, as he did when coming second on the recent Tour de Suisse.

"We tried to talk to him, we stopped the car to discuss a solution. He told us he didn't want to talk and got in the car," said Stangelj. "I don't know any more than you do."

Stangelj said he did not think it was a physical problem.

"We will have to clarify the situation at the hotel tonight," he said.

The team released a statement saying it had launched an investigation.

Tweets in several languages by broadcaster Eurosport suggested Dennis had an argument with his team over his helmet radio and that his decision to expend energy attempting to join the breakaway the day before a time trial might have added to existing friction.

Australian broadcaster SBS tweeted that the 29-year-old had returned to the team bus, before leaving without comment, accompanied by his agent and a press officer.

After the stage, teammate Dylan Teuns told French TV that he was puzzled after he was the first Bahrain rider to finish.

"When I got to the bus, there was a bike," said Teuns. "It's very surprising because I knew I was the first one on the team. I saw him this morning, he seemed fine. Maybe he's sick, I don't know."

Dennis won the first stage of the 2015 Tour and wore the yellow jersey but has only finished one of his four Tours.

South America Could Sweep Grand Tours With Vuelta Win

A swathe of absentees leaves the door open for a first-time winner and a South American clean sweep of Grand Tour victories this season as the Vuelta a Espana begins on Saturday.

Report: Doping Threatens Colombia's Cycling Talent Production Line

Colombian cycling reached its zenith last month when pint-sized climber Egan Bernal became his country's first winner of the sport's greatest race, the Tour de France.

FloBikes To Broadcast Vuelta a España And World Championships In Canada

Join Pro now to watch the 2019 Vuelta a España live and on-demand.

Carapaz In Doubt For Vuelta Following Training Crash

Ecuador's Richard Carapaz, winner of this year's Giro d'Italia, has injured his shoulder and could miss the start of the Vuelta a Espana on Saturday.

Jakob Fuglsang To Ride 2019 Vuelta, Re-signs With Astana

Danish veteran Jakob Fuglsang penned a new two-year deal with Astana on Wednesday in a timely boost ahead of the Vuelta a Espana which gets underway this weekend.

The Best Climbers At The Vuelta a España

The Vuelta a España is known as the grand tour for pure climbers. This year’s Vuelta lives up to that reputation and then some. With 57 categorized climbs and eight summit finishes in the 2019 Vuelta, there will be no shortage of battles amongst the peloton’s top climbers throughout the three weeks of racing. 

The Top Sprinters At The 2019 Vuelta a España


The Vuelta a España is known as a race for the pure climbers, however the 2019 edition has included many opportunities for sprinting talent. There are six flat days for the sprinters in this year’s Vuelta, three of which come in the final week. 

Five Unheralded Riders That Could Win La Vuelta

Vuelta Favorites And Underdogs

The Vuelta a España is in many ways the proving ground for riders in the peloton in need of grand tour experience. The courses are as challenging (if not more so) than the other two grand tours, but with many of the marquee GC riders recovering after the Tour de France, the Vuelta stands as an opportunity for hidden talent.

Five Big Favorites For The 2019 Vuelta a España

Vuelta Favorites And Underdogs

For some, the Vuelta a España is a chance for redemption at the end of a trying season. For others, the Vuelta stands as an opportunity to make a first mark on grand tour racing. In 2019 the Vuelta has a line up of bonafide grand tour stars who have something yet to prove this year. 

Roubaix Winner Gilbert To Return To Lotto-Soudal

Philippe Gilbert, the 2012 road-race world champion, will return to Lotto Soudal next season at the age of 38 on a three-year contract, the team announced on Monday.