Disappointed Hesjedal forced to pull out of the Tour de France
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Saturday, July 07, 2012

Disappointed Hesjedal forced to pull out of the Tour de France

by Shane Stokes at 4:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Injury
 
Injuries prove too much for Garmin-Sharp team leader

Ryder HesjedalHaving promised to try to continue in the Tour de France after a very bad crash yesterday, Giro d’Italia champion Ryder Hesjedal has the disappointment of being forced out of the race due to his injuries.

The Canadian had a massive hematoma on his left leg and hip after the crash and limped in to the finish. He was reassessed by the Garmin-Sharp team’s medical staff this morning, and they determined that the injury had not improved overnight. In fact, he was unable to pedal normally, and the likelihood was that the problem would have gotten worse had he raced.

Hesjedal went into the race hoping to be the first rider in fourteen years to do the Giro-Tour double. Instead, he’s heading home over two weeks earlier than he had intended. “Its very disappointing to leave the Tour this way. I was in good form and feeling comfortable, just really settling in to the first week with an eye on the mountains. I only took a few days off the bike after the Giro before I started training again, and I have been very focused on doing a great Tour,” he said.

Team doctor Prentice Steffen said that there was no choice in the matter. "The injury would only be worsened if he tried to ride today,” he said. “Some things will loosen up and feel better over a few days, but this is not in that category of injury. He needs to go home, keep working with the medical staff, and recover."

Having reached the Tour in good form despite the demands of the Giro, Hesjedal said that he will set a new goal to chase. “Its a huge disappointment. But the team still has a strong group of riders here and they will still do great things. I'll go home, keep working with the medical staff on my recovery, and re-focus everything on the Olympics,” he stated. “I will be rooting for them from home and I wish everyone luck for the rest of the Tour.”

Several other riders from the team fell yesterday, with the crash forcing the already-injured Tom Danielson out of the race. Johan Vansummeren limped in the finish with his team kit completely shredded and his body covered in cuts and bruises, but it appears that he will be able to start today.

The team will refocus its goals, with Tour debutant Dan Martin set to chase stages and possibly the mountains jersey.

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