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LA TOUSSUIRE, France (AFP) — Dutch climbing specialist Robert Gesink and Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi will not resume racing on the Tour de France’s 12th stage Friday after leaving the race for different reasons.
Gesink (Rabobank), a fifth-place finisher in 2010, has been suffering from sore ribs since a crash earlier in the race. His team announced his withdrawal at the end of the difficult 148km ride from Albertville to the ski station of La Toussuire where he finished over 30 minutes behind race leader Bradley Wiggins (Sky).
Gesink was 67th overall when he decided enough was enough.
“When I breathe in deeply, I’m in pain. I have really sore muscles around my ribs,” said the Dutchman. “Continuing on the Tour de France is not going to make me get better.”
Rabobank also lost its Australian sprinter Mark Renshaw early on the stage, as well as Dutchman Bauke Mollema, who like Gesink had been caught up in a crash on Friday.
The Italian Lampre-ISD team meanwhile will be without veteran sprinter Petacchi for the rest of the race after the Italian finished outside the time cut for the stage. Petacchi, who has won stages in all three grand tours, crashed on the descent of the Croix de Fer climb 50km from the finish and has suspected broken ribs, Lampre said in a release.
“He could have broken ribs. We will find out after he undergoes a scan upon his return to Italy tomorrow (Friday),” said a team spokesperson.