Marcel Kittel abandons the Tour de France
The 29-year-old Quick-Step Floors rider had to stop halfway through Wednesday's stage as consequence of an early crash.
A pile up in the opening kilometers of the brutal stage 17 (La Mure – Serre-Chevalier, 183km), when the riders were putting in fierce accelerations and fighting for a place in the breakaway, took several men to the ground, among them Gianluca Brambilla and Marcel Kittel. Both rejoined the bunch a few minutes later, but immediately Marcel – who fell on his right side on a road ditch – went to the medical car to have his shoulder tended to.
After making it over the first classified climb of the stage, the 29-year-old German – who was leading the points classification at the Tour de France for the 15th time in his career – had to call it a day at the top of the Hors Catégorie Col de la Croix de Fer (24km, 5.2%).
Winner of five stages at this edition of the Tour de France (Liège, Troyes, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Bergerac and Pau), Marcel Kittel achieved several milestones in these past weeks in the Quick-Step Floors jersey and was keen on becoming only the fourth German rider to conquer the coveted green jersey.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele