European champion Giacomo Nizzolo abandons Tour de France 2020 

The Italian sprinter had been riding well in the opening week but was forced to step off the bike

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Giacomo Nizzolo has abandoned the Tour de France 2020 on stage eight. 

The newly crowned European champion had put in a promising first week of the Tour, taking a podium place early in the race, but he was forced to step off the bike on the mountains between Cazères  and Loudenvielle.  

Nizzolo had been struggling with a knee injury and the tough climbing day on stage eight was a tall ask, with the NTT Pro Cycling rider getting into the team car with just over 80km left to race.  

His team said on Twitter: “Very sad news, our Italian & European champion has been forced to abandon Le Tour. Details to follow post stage.” 

Nizzolo, who is also the Italian national champion, took seventh after a chaotic opening stage to the Tour in Nice, then followed up with third place on stage three from Nice to Sisteron.

The 31-year-old then narrowly missed out on a top-10 finish on stage five to Privas, taking 11th at the line. 

Speaking after his podium finish, Nizzolo said: “I’m definitely happy about the commitment of the guys, we did everything we could. 

“Obviously in the final it could have been better for us but it also could have definitely been worse. 

“I had to start the sprint early because I was scared that if I dropped the speed that we would be caught from behind so it was a super long sprint but performance-wise I’m happy and I think that in the team we are really looking forward to the next sprint.”

Nizzolo has been in outstanding form in 2020, taking a stage of the Tour Down Under in January, then finishing second in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and winning the second stage of Paris-Nice.

After the coronavirus lockdown, he rode to fifth in Milan-San Remo then won back to back in the Italian National Championships and the European Championships in the week before the Tour started.

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He had planned to race the Classics this autumn, but will he instead opt for the Giro d’Italia in the hopes of taking a Grand Tour stage in his home race. 

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.