Injured Talansky pulls out of Tour
Garmin-Sharp rider Andrew Talansky has been forced to withdraw from the Tour de France due to back and hip injuries.
Talansky, who won the traditional Tour warm-up the Criterium du Dauphine in June and was hoping for a podium finish, suffered a series of heavy crashes in the first 10 stages and his fitness issues came to a head in Oyonnax on Wednesday.
He dropped back midway along the stage, left by his team-mates who pressed ahead without him, and slumped to the roadside as he fought back tears.
He eventually opted to finish the stage in last place, almost 12 minutes behind the previous finisher, but has now accepted the inevitable.
"I'm absolutely heartbroken to leave the Tour de France," said the American. "I built my season around the Tour and the team has supported me every step of the way.
"I had hoped the rest day would allow some time to recover from my crashes. I was hopeful that I could get through (on Wednesday) and I tried to be there for the team, the way they have been there for me this whole time.
"But it proved to be too much. I wanted the team to keep up the fight for the stage and, in turn for them, I wanted to fight to the finish.
"I'll go home now and rest and recover but I will be watching from there and cheering for my team every day."
A team statement from Garmin-Sharp read: "Andrew came into this Tour in excellent condition. He has been suffering the effects of some very heavy crashes.
"We are proud of his ride yesterday, of his tenacity and his courage. He was determined to finish the stage, no matter how far back he was, and he gave the nod to his team-mates to go with the plan of going for the stage.
"He wanted them to ride for it and he wanted to finish for them. That's the heart of a champion."