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Gaviria, Greipel and Groenewegen all abandon Tour de France

Joe Robinson
19 Jul 2018

Trio of sprinters unable to handle pace of Team Sky all abandoning on the slopes of the Croix de Fer

Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors), Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) have all abandoned the Tour de France on Stage 12 to Alpe d'Huez. The three sprinters were unable to match the day's relentless pace in the mountains, all stepping off mid-stage.

Groenewegen was the first to go with the Dutchman stepping off on the lower slopes of the Col de la Croix de Fer. The Dutchman had struggled with injuries after a hard crash on Stage 9 to Roubaix and this will have no doubt played a part in his abandonment.

Greipel was the second to go climbing off further up the same mountain. Greipel also crashed on Stage 9 but not to the same extent as Groenewgen.

It is more likely that the German could no longer handle the pace of the peloton and was left with no choice but to quit.

Gaviria went next before the race had reached the summit of the Croix de Fer. Flirting with the time limit, the Colombian was riding with teammate Max Richeze before pulling the pin.

Disappointment will be high for both Gaviria and Groenewegen, the two in-form sprinters of this Tour. Both had taken two stage victories so far and looked infinitely quicker than their closest rivals in a straight drag race.

At 36-years-old, this could possibly be the last we see of Greipel at the Tour de France. With Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) expected to move across to Lotto-Soudal it is unknown as to whether the German will continue at the Belgian team, with reports that he is on the hunt for a new team.

Greipel has ridden the Tour for the past eight consecutive years taking 11 stage wins in the process.

Gaviria, Greipel and Gronenwegen join a growing list of fast men who have had to leave the Tour because of the mountains.

Yesterday, Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin), Mark Cavendish and Mark Renshaw (Dimension-Data) were all ejected from the race having missed the time cut.

Cavendish spent most of the stage alone eventually crossing the line dead last, an hour adrift of stage winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky).

This leaves just a handful of quickmen left to contest the final few remaining sprint stages left in this race, of which the next one is tomorrow's 169.5km stage from Bourg d'Oisans to Valence.