Rohan Dennis (BMC) has withdrawn from the 2016 Tour de France during the race’s second rest day on Tuesday. The Australian leaves the race to focus on his preparations for the forthcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where he will take part in the individual time trial and road race.
Dennis was part of BMC’s squad in support of joint leaders Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen, and leaves the American team with eight riders as the race heads into the Alps.
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The 26-year-old from Adelaide placed fifth behind Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) in the Tour’s stage 13 time trial from Bourg Saint Andéol to La Caverne. Dumoulin will be one of Dennis’s big rivals in the Olympic test against the clock.
“It has been an incredibly tough two weeks of racing at the Tour de France and Rohan has been an asset to the team, both with his fifth place in the first time trial, and working in support of our leaders throughout the race,” said BMC sports director Yvon Ledanois.
“BMC Racing Team’s performance and management team agree that it is not in his best interest to continue racing beyond stage 16.
“The next two weeks are crucial for him as he prepares for the Rio Olympics and given the final time trial here at the Tour de France isn’t suited to him, his preparation is best done at home in order to avoid further fatigue.”
Dennis was 138th overall after stage 16, two hours and 40 minutes down on race leader Chris Froome (Sky).
In May, Dennis placed second overall in the Tour of California after winning the race’s individual time trial stage. He also took the Australian national TT title this year for the first time in his career.
Dennis was part of Australia’s team pursuit squad on the track in the 2012 Games in London, where they took silver behind Great Britain.