Alex Dowsett abandons Tour de France

Movistar's Alex Dowsett abandons the Tour de France after being dropped early on stage 12

Alex Dowsett on stage five of the 2015 Tour de France (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

Movistar's Alex Dowsett has abandoned the Tour de France on stage 12, bringing to an end his torrid debut in the race.

The British time trial champion struggled through much of the first week after a crash on stage four, which required six stitches to his elbow, before losing more time in the mountain stages after the rest day.

Dowsett finished in a group 21 minutes behind winner Chris Froome on the first mountain on stage 10, and then only just finished inside the time cut on stage 11 over the Tourmalet - coming in on his own 33 minutes behind the winner.

On stage 12 the Essex rider called it a day alongside fellow struggler Zak Dempster after being dropped from the peloton on the first climb of the day.

Dowsett admitted before the Tour that he wouldn't be much use to Nairo Quintana in the mountains, but his stage-four crash and resulting suffering left him unable to provide much help on the flat either.

Watch highlights from stage 11 of the Tour de France