Rohan Dennis pulls out of debut Tour de France a day earlier than planned
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Sunday, July 07, 2013

Rohan Dennis pulls out of debut Tour de France a day earlier than planned

by Ben Atkins at 4:38 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
23-year-old Australian to “go home and rest and recover” after “huge honour” of race start

rohan dennisRohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) will not start today’s ninth stage of the Tour de France, between Saint-Girons and Bagnères-de-Bigorre, as he is to withdraw from the race. The 23-year-old was originally planning to continue until tomorrow’s first rest day, but the decision has been taken to call an early halt to his debut in la Grande Boucle.

“Rohan did a great job in his first Tour and will not take the start today,” reads the statement from Garmin-Sharp. “Our goal for Rohan, as we said all along, was to bring him to the Tour to give him experience in order to continue to develop his talent. We wanted to get him through the first rest day and we're only a day short of that.

“He did a fantastic job here and we're proud of how he rode for the team,” it continues. “He is an exceptionally talented young rider. Now he'll go home, rest, recover, and focus on the rest of his season with the benefit of having ridden his first Tour de France.”

Riding in his first season at WorldTour level, Dennis took several high-profile results in the lead up to the Tour de France, including second place in the time trial of the Critérium du Dauphiné - where he beat current Tour leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) and took the race lead - and finishing the eight-day race in eighth overall.

Dennis had been riding in support of 2012 Giro d’Italia champion Ryder Hesjedal, including bringing the Canadian back to the peloton after his crash on stage two. The 23-year-old found his first Tour de France mountain stage to be a tough proposition, and reached Ax 3 Domaines as 187th and last of the day’s finishers - losing 38’45” to stage-winner Froome - although the Australian is far from last in the general classification.

Riding the second Pyrenéen stage, which will feature five big cols, would be a fruitless exercise for the Tour debutant.

"Having the opportunity to ride my first Tour at my age was incredible and a huge honour,” said Dennis. “I would have liked to make it a little longer in the race but now its time to go home and rest and recover. I'm very thankful for the support of my team and I know the guys will continue to do a great race.”

Having already lost Christian Vande Velde to his crash injuries, the Garmin-Sharp team is now reduced to seven riders.

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