Peter Sagan has abandoned the Tour de France 2021 after struggling with knee pain that has developed due to bursitis.
The Bora-Hansgrohe star has been almost anonymous during this year's race ever since his heavy crash with Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) on stage three of the race where he picked up the injury.
Sagan has managed three top 10s at the race so far but no better than fifth. Usually, he is expected to be going for intermediate sprints and really challenging the pure sprinters on the hillier stages, but he has just not had the form.
An hour before the start of stage 12, Sagan spoke to the press where he announced that he would be leaving the race after suffering from pain caused by bursitis. He had been battling through it, but no stage win or good placing in the green jersey standings has meant that he has chosen to abandon.
"It’s not very nice to be leaving," Sagan told the media. "The injury I had after the first stage seemed to be getting better and better but then I hit the knee against the handlebars again two days ago in the sprint and it’s swollen. I can’t bend my leg."
"There’s nothing I can do but take some rest and get better. If you can't move your leg, where can you go?"
Speaking to TV reporters he continued: "I have a knee problem which I hit again in the sprint two days ago against Mark [Cavendish] and yesterday after the hardest stage [of the race] it got swollen and I can not move my leg.
"I am sad and disappointed as I survived eight days and it looked like it was getting better but after I hit it again everything is over. I’m sad for my team as today is also important in GC for Wilco [Kelderman] and it’s not nice for me to leave the Tour de France.
"The rest of my season we will see. In the next five days, we’ll see how the knee is getting better, then if it is okay I want to focus and prepare to be at my best for the Olympics."
With Sagan saying he will focus on the Olympic Games in Japan is a surprise as the route is not expected the suit the former world champion.
Bursitis is a condition that affects is a painful condition that affects these small fluid-filled glands known as bursae that cushion the bones, muscles and tendons around the joints.
It usually occurs when the bursae become inflamed with the most common locations for this being the shoulder, elbow and hip. But Sagan's has been in his knee.
This news also comes after reports suggested that Sagan will be signing for French UCI ProTeam, Team TotalEnergies for the 2022 season after he finished the Tour.
Tim Bonville-Ginn is one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter.
Bonville-Ginn started working in cycling journalism while still at school and university for a voluntary site based on Twitter before also doing slots for Eurosport's online web team and has been on location at the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Britain, UCI World Championships and various track events. He then joined the Cycling Weekly team in late February of 2020.
When not writing stories for the site, Bonville-Ginn doesn't really switch off his cycling side as he watches every race that is televised as well as being a rider himself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager.
He rides a Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on his local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being his preferred terrain.
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