Marcel Kittel abandoned the Tour de France during Wednesday’s stage 17 after crashing earlier in the Alpine stage.
Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) was leading the points competition and had won five stages before he exited.
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Kittel and several other riders crashed just 20 kilometers into Wednesday’s stage. He was cut and bloodied and even needed to change a shoe while hanging onto his team car as the race continued.
The peloton, led by race leader Chris Froome’s Sky team, sat up and waited for Kittel to rejoin, but once the climbing began with the Category 2 Col d’Ornon, Kittel started to lose touch with the bunch. He abandoned a short time later.
Warren Barguil (Sunweb), who won stage 13 on Bastille Day, was also involved in the crash but was able to continue in the race.
The 29-year-old German is the third top sprinter to leave this year’s Tour. Officials kicked two-time defending world champion Peter Sagan out of the race after they said he caused Mark Cavendish to crash at the end of stage 4. Cavendish abandoned because of injuries he sustained in the high-speed crash.
Kittel’s exit means Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) is now the leader in the green jersey competition.
Quick-Step confirmed the Kittel news on its Twitter feed:
[twitter url=”https://twitter.com/quickstepteam/status/887657887069343744″ align=”center”]
[twitter url=”https://twitter.com/quickstepteam/status/887662489051201536″ align=”center”]
Elsewhere, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) also abandoned the Tour Wednesday on the challenging stage that featured four categorized climbs.