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Philippe Gilbert abandons Tour de France after crash on Stage 16 descent

Jack Elton-Walters
25 Jul 2018

Injuries sustained in a crash on Stage 16 have forced the Belgian to leave the Tour de France

Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) has abandoned the 2018 Tour de France following a crash 59km from the end of Stage 16. The rider was seen locking his brakes going into a corner and somersaulting over a wall at the side of the road.

Gilbert avoided serious injury and was helped out of the ravine and back to the road, where he gave the television camera a thumbs up before remounting his bike.

He was able to finish the stage, won by his teammate Julian Alaphilippe, and attend the podium to be awarded the day's combativity prize for the attack that preceded the crash, but the cuts to his leg meant that his Tour de France was over.

A scan later revealed that a fractured kneecap will keep him off the bike for a number of weeks.

The Belgian has had an active Tour, getting in several breakaways as well as attacking late in sprint stages in an attempt to disrupt the natural order of a flat finish.

He was also key to Quick-Step's close third place in the Stage 3 team time trial, where they narrowly missed out to BMC Racing and Team Sky. A better result on the day would have put Gilbert in yellow.

The Tour de France continues today with Stage 17, which is just 65km in length but takes on three high mountains, the third of which is a summit finish.

Riders will start in a grid system based on their overall standing, which could see riders go from the gun or sit-up and wait for domestiques.