American Andrew Talansky quit the Tour de France before Thursday’s 12th stage due to the cumulative effects of several crashes, his Garmin-Sharp team said. Talansky crashed heavily on Friday’s seventh stage before also coming off his bike the next day. The 25-year-old had suffered badly on Monday’s tough mountainous stage in which he lost 10 minutes and saw his overall hopes go up in smoke. But following Tuesday’s rest day, the Criterium du Dauphine winner woke up with a bad back and suffered terribly on Wednesday’s 11th stage, coming home alone and more than 32 minutes behind winner Tony Gallopin.
“I’m absolutely heartbroken to leave the Tour de France. I built my season around the Tour,” said Talansky in a team statement. “I had hoped the rest day would allow some time to recover from my crashes. I was hopeful that I could get through yesterday (Wednesday)… but it proved to be too much.” Talansky was visibly in trouble from early on in Wednesday’s 187.5km run from Besancon to Oyonnax and even at one point climbed off his bike, seemingly giving up. But he continued with tears running down his cheeks and fought on for more than 100km totally alone to beat the cut-off time limit.
“Andrew came in to this Tour in excellent condition. He has been suffering the effects of some very heavy crashes,” said Garmin. “We are proud of his ride yesterday, of his tenacity and his courage. He was determined to finish the stage, no matter how far back he was.” Garmin added: “That’s the heart of a champion. We are sad to see him leave, but it’s important that he goes home, rests, recovers, and refocuses on the rest of his season.” Talansky had been suffering from severe pain in his lower back and hip since his crash on stage seven.