Jakob Fuglsang abandons Tour de France 2019

The Astana rider was a surprise favourite for the overall after a phenomenal start to 2019

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Jakob Fuglsang has abandoned the Tour de France after a crash in the final 30km of stage 15.

Fuglsang was involved in a crash in the bunch with 28km left to race that also involved Cees Bol from Sunweb.

The Dane was surrounded by his team-mates at the side of the road and had taken his helmet off, as it appeared he would not continue the race.

It was then confirmed by race organisers that he had abandoned.

The extent of his injuries are not currently clear.

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He started the stage in ninth overall, 5-27 off the yellow jersey.

Astana leader Fuglsang had become a last-minute favourite to win the Tour after a blistering 2019 season that saw him win Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Fuglsang, 34, had been steadily climbing the general classification but was one of the big favourites who lost time in the crosswinds on stage 10 to Brioude.

He then began to climb the standings once more in the individual time trial in Pau, where he finished with the 12th fastest time, and then came into his own in the high mountains on the following two stages.

After finishing 10th atop the Tourmalet, he followed up with a 14th place finish on stage 15 to Foix, securing himself ninth spot.

Fuglsang wasn't the only GC rider to fall on stage 16. Geraint Thomas came down in a fall early in the stage.

Team Ineos leader Thomas may have clipped the curb and was thrown from his bike and slid along the floor on his left side, luckily avoiding the rest of the peloton.

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Thomas was straight back up but suffered a mechanical in the fall and had to wait for his team car for a mechanic to provide him with a new machine.

Stage 16 was expected to be a relaxed day in terms of the general classification battle, covering 177km starting and finishing in Nîmes.

Blisteringly hot conditions, with temperatures hitting around 40 degrees, will make it a brutal day nonetheless, and there was a potential crosswind that could have split the race later in the stage.

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