Simon Yates and Fabio Aru among those abandoning Tour of the Basque Country

Large number of riders withdraw during stage five of the Tour of the Basque Country in Spain, many due to crash injury

Simon Yates on stage four of the 2016 Tour of The Basque Country
(Image credit: Watson)

British rider Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) and Italian Fabio Aru (Astana) are among the many high-profile abandons during the penultimate stage of the Tour of the Basque Country in Spain on Friday.

With cold and wet conditions affecting the 'queen' mountains stage of the WorldTour-level event, there were several crashes – one of which took out 2015 Vuelta a España winner Aru.

Yates finished in fifth place overall in last year's race, and was placed in 21st position overall going into stage five, 51 seconds adrift of general classification leader Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo).

See more

Early reports suggested that Yates had also suffered a crash. He had been targetting today's stage for a good performance.

Yates's brother and Orica-GreenEdge team-mate Adam remains in the race.

>>> Samuel Sanchez turns back the clock to win Tour of the Basque Country stage four

Along with Aru and Yates, other notable abandons during the stage included Daniel Martin (Etixx-QuickStep), Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) and Ryder Hesjedal (Trek-Segafredo).

The stage concludes with a steep ascent to Arrate, the last of the day's eight classified climbs.

The general classification will receive its final shake-up on the final stage on Saturday (April 9), a 16.5-kilometre hilly individual time trial.

More to follow...

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1