Kurt Asle Arvesen has pulled out of the 2009 Tour de France after he fractured his collarbone during stage 10 on Tuesday.
The Norwegian national champion fell awkwardly with Garmin's Danny Pate on a seemingly innocuous stretch of road. He quickly remounted his bike and carried on, but was obviously in pain.
Throughout the stage, the Saxo Bank rider received attention from the race doctor, but managed to complete the day's race despite his injuries.
After a more thorough inspection in a hospital in Chateauroux on Tuesday evening, it was discovered that Arvesen had fractured his left collarbone quite seriously - bad enough to require surgery.
"I'm extremely disappointed," said Arvesen.
"It has been my main objective of the year and I have been riding hard to get ready for it. I had no chances of avoiding the crash and it is a very sad situation for me to see everything disappear.
"Naturally I wish the remaining eight [Saxo Bank] riders good luck with the rest of the race."
Arvesen will return to his native Norway where he will undergo a surgical procedure to correct the fracture.
Arvesen won stage 11 of last year's Tour de France, and was hoping for a repeat win this year.
TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 LINKS
Tour de France 2009 - the hub: Index to reports, photos, previews and more.
Stage 10: Cavendish spoils Bastille Day party to take third stage win
Stage nine: Third French win as contenders content with ceasefire
stage eight: Sanchez wins from break as Tour favourites cancel each other out
Stage seven: Feillu wins at Arcalis, Nocentini takes yellow, Contador leap-frogs Lance
Stage six: Millar's brave bid denied on Barcelona hill as Hushovd triumphs
Stage five: Voeckler survives chase to win his first Tour stage
Stage four: Astana on top but Armstrong misses yellow by hundredths of a second
Live Tour de France stage four TTT coverage
Stage three: Cavendish wins second stage as Armstrong distances Contador
Stage two: Cavendish takes first sprint
Stage one: Cancellara wins opening time trial
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TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 PHOTOS
Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson
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Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson
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