It was a chaotic first week at the Tour de France, with a number of popular riders crashing out of the race in brutal fashion, including two riders wearing the yellow jersey.
Fabian Cancellara suffered a repeat of the broken vertebrae in his back on stage three, which kept him out of the Classics season, while Tony Martin broke his collarbone on stage six.
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The huge crash on stage three cost William Bonnet a broken neck and Tom Dumoulin a broken collarbone, with Orica-GreenEdge duo Simon Gerrans and Daryl Impey both forced to abandon too.
Orica-GreenEdge suffered again on stage five when Michael Albasini broke his arm and Nacer Bouhanni and Jack Bauer also climbed off after crashes.
Lotto-Soudal’s Greg Henderson, who battled through broken ribs suffered on stage three, called it a day before stage seven, taking the tally to 12 abandonments in the first six days.
Now the race heads into the Pyrenees, with two abandonments on the rest day, including Ivan Basso (Tinkoff-Saxo) who flew home after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.
Stage 11 saw six riders abandon, including two from Ag2r-La Mondiale and former world champion Rui Costa.
After further departures on the following stages, stage 16 saw the second British departure – and the first from Team Sky – when Peter Kennaugh was forced out of the race due to illness. His absence will be a loss to Chris Froome, but with a strong team remaining around him and a margin of over three minutes in the GC the Sky leader shouldn’t be too troubled.
Stage 17 saw a number of further abandonments, including GC contender Tejay van Garderen, who dropped out with illness. World champion Michal Kwiatkowski also retired, as did the ill Irish sprinter Sam Bennett.
Mark Cavendish’s sprint train lost another member on stage 18, with Mark Renshaw climbing off, while MTN’s South African climber Luis Meintjes was forced to call it a day through illness.
Stage 18 abandonments
Luis Meintjes (MTN-Qhubeka)
Mark Renshaw (Etixx-Quick-Step)
Stage 17 abandonments
Tejay van Garderen (BMC) – illness
Nathan Haas (Cannondale-Garmin)
Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quick-Step)
Didier Laurent (Trek)
Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18)
Jerome Coppel (IAM Cycling)
Stage 16 abandonments
Peter Kennaugh (Sky) – Illness
Greg van Avermaet (BMC) – Departed the race to attend the birth of his child
Stage 15 abandonments
Sebastian Langeveld (Cannondale-Garmin)
Stage 14 abandonments
Steve Morabito (FDJ) – Broken collarbone
Eduardo Sepulveda (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) – Disqualified for riding in a team car
Ramon Sinkeldam (Giant-Alpecin)
Stage 12 abandonments
Zak Dempster (Bora-Argon 18)
Alex Dowsett (Movistar) – Injured
Stage 11 abandonments
Domenik Nerz (Bora-Argon 18)
Danielle Bennati (Tinkoff-Saxo) – Injured
Johan Vansummeren (Ag2r-La Mondiale)
Ben Gastauer (Ag2r-La Mondiale)
Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida)
Rein Taaramae (Astana)
Stage 10 abandonments
Ivan Basso (Tinkoff-Saxo) – Testicular cancer
Lars Boom (Astana) – Illness
Stage eight abandonments
Luca Paolini (Katusha) – Positive test for cocaine
Stage seven abandonments
Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick-Step) – Broken collarbone
Greg Henderson (Lotto-Soudal) – Broken ribs
Stage six abandonments
Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) – Fractured upper left-arm
Stage five abandonments
Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) – Crashed after 12km (injured ribs)
Jack Bauer (Cannondale-Garmin) – Crashed during stage five
Stage three abandonments
William Bonnet (FDJ) – Broken vertebra in neck
Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) – Dislocated shoulder
Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) – Fractured wrist
Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) – Broken collarbone
Fabian Cancellara (Trek) – Broken vertebrae in back
Dmitry Kozontchuk (Katusha) – Fractured shoulder blade and broken collarbone
Andreas Schillinger (Bora-Argon 18) – Illness