Albi - US rider Christian Vande Velde has abandoned the Tour de France, race
officials said on Friday, after being caught up in a crash early in the
seventh stage to Albi.
Vande Velde suffered several injuries in
the crash-marred fifth stage to Marseille, after which he was widely
expected to abandon.
The veteran 37-year-old battled through the
pain to complete a hectic stage six to Montpellier on Thursday and had
hoped to reach his favoured terrain of the mountains on Saturday, when
the race heads into the Pyrenees.
But the hopes of Vande Velde,
who has been racing with a loosened screw from the metal plate on his
collarbone from an earlier injury, were dashed when he was among several
riders to come down early on the 205km stage to Albi.
Prentice Steffen said the injuries that had built up since the start of
the race meant Vande Velde could no longer continue.
suffered his second crash in three days today (Friday) and unfortunately
his injuries have forced him out of the Tour," he said.
multiple contusions and abrasions he suffered in today's crash,
compounded with the injuries he sustained on stage five, which included a
blood clot in his neck muscle, a loosened screw in his clavicle plate
and upper back injuries, made it impossible for him to finish the stage.
"We'll examine him closely tonight and continue to evaluate his injuries."