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Tour de France

Tour de France: Tadej Pogačar down to four teammates after Marc Soler misses time cut

The Spaniard missed the time cut by 15 minutes after vomiting several times during the stage.

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Tadej Pogačar is down to just four UAE Team Emirates teammates at the Tour de France after Marc Soler missed the time cut on stage 16 by 15 minutes.

Soler paid multiple visits to the race doctor and was subsequently dropped about 100 kilometers into the stage. He was later seen vomiting several times from his bike, unable to keep much sustenance down.

The Spaniard, who joined UAE Team Emirates for this season as a domestique for Pogačar, was quickly distanced by the peloton and with 90 kilometers to go he was already 1:30 behind.

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That time quickly ballooned over the day’s two major climbs, and he ultimately finished close to an hour down on the stage winner Hugo Houle.

Soler is one of six riders that departed the Tour de France Tuesday, with three riders leaving due to positive COVID-19 tests, another due to a cold, and one due to an injury.

He is the third member of the UAE Team Emirates squad to leave the Tour de France this year after both George Bennett and Vegard Stake Laengen left following positive COVID-19 tests.

It means that Pogačar, who is 2:22 behind Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) in yellow, has just four teammates left to help him through the final mountain stages. Mikkel Bjerg, Rafał Majka, Brandon McNulty, and Marc Hirschi remain to back up the Slovenian in his efforts to topple Vingegaard.