The American was suffering badly on yesterday’s stage, from the injuries he sustained when he crashed twice in two days, coming in 32 minutes down on winner Tony Gallopin, just five minutes inside the time cut.
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In a statement released by Garmin-Sharp this morning Talansky said: “I’m absolutely heartbroken to leave the Tour de France. I built my season around the Tour, and the team has supported me every step of the way. I had hoped the rest day would allow some time to recover from my crashes.”
“I was hopeful that I could get through yesterday and I tried to be there for the team, the way they have been there for me this whole time. But it proved to be too much. It’s been hard for me personally with the crashes but I’m really proud of how we rode together here. These guys are so strong and there is so much more they can do over the rest of the Tour.”
Talansky had been sitting pretty all the way to Nancy last Friday, only losing two minutes to Vincenzo Nibali over the cobbles of stage five. But in the final metres of stage seven he made a serious error. Finding himself in the mix for the sprint he tried to get out of the way. He looked back over his right shoulder as he moved to his left. At the exact same time, Simon Gerrans (who was coming past Talansky on his left) was following the sprint and moving to his right. Talansky and Gerrans collided while Talansky was looking back – he had no chance of staying upright.
The following day Talansky crashed again, on a wet, technical descent on the stage to Mulhouse. He was soon on his bike and finished with the rest of the favourites, but the damage was seemingly done.
“Andrew is suffering the cumulative effects of multiple crashes during the first part of the Tour, in addition to battling an upper respiratory infection. The impact on his hip from the crash on Stage seven has led to acute sacroiliitis, from which the pain has made it increasingly difficult for him to pedal.” Kevin Sprouse, Garmin’s Team Physician said in a statement.
On Monday’s stage to Planche des Belles Filles Talansky’s GC challenge was over, as he trailed in ten minutes behind Nibali. Yesterday he suffered further still, riding much of the stage on his own in a battle agains the time cut.