Tour de France

Debutant Dennis quits TDF

2013-07-07 13:44
Rohan Dennis (Getty Images)
Saint-Girons - Australian Rohan Dennis has pulled out of his first Tour de France, the Garmin team said before the start of the ninth stage to Bagneres-de-Bigorre on Sunday.

Garmin said Dennis was scheduled to quit the race on Sunday night, prior to the race's first rest day on Monday.

However the Aussie did not start Sunday's ninth stage, which features a several difficult, category-one climbs on the way to a downhill finish in Bagneres-de-Bigorre.

"Our goal for Rohan, as we said all along, was to bring him to the Tour to give him experience in order to continue to develop his talent," said a Garmin team statement.

"We wanted to get him through the first rest day and we're only a day short of that. He did a fantastic job here and we're proud of how he rode for the team."

Dennis, 23, said riding his first Tour was "incredible and a huge honor".

"I would have liked to make it a little longer in the race but now its time to go home and rest and recover.

"I'm very thankful for the support of my team and I know the guys will continue to do a great race."

Compatriot Cadel Evans, meanwhile, suffered another blow when BMC teammate Michael Schaer pulled out, having suffered an injured shoulder from crashes on Wednesday and Friday.

Evans, the 2011 champion, had been hoping to challenge race favourite and leader Chris Froome for the yellow jersey but lost over four minutes on the first stage in the high mountains on Saturday.

The Australian is now 23rd overall at 4:36 behind Froome.

Read more on:    tdf  |  cycling

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