Dempster abandons Tour de France and reveals just how hard the mountains are

Re-instated into the race despite finishing 28 seconds after the time cut, Bora-Argon 18 rider Zak Dempster fought fans, heat and saddle sores to continue the Tour de France

Zak Dempster (Sunada)

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

It’s not uncommon to talk of suffering in the Tour de France but suffice to say that Zak Dempster suffered more than most on stage 11 of the race over the Pyrenees.

The Bora-Argon 18 rider battled fatigue and severe saddle sores over the 188km stage, which climbed up and over the Col d’Aspin and Col du Tourmalet. He finished 45-47 down on the stage winner Rafal Majka and was reported to have been outside the time cut by 28 seconds on the line in Cauterets.

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Richard Abraham is an award-winning writer, based in New Zealand. He has reported from major sporting events including the Tour de France and Olympic Games, and is also a part-time travel guide who has delivered luxury cycle tours and events across Europe. In 2019 he was awarded Writer of the Year at the PPA Awards.