Tiesj Benoot has abandoned from the Tour de France after a nasty crash on stage four saw the Belgian rider finish the day with a dislocated shoulder and covered in blood.
Benoot and a whole host of riders found themselves rubber side up just 5km out from the finish line in Sarzeau, before managing to ride home.
However, it wasn’t good news for the bloodied Strade Bianche winner. Requiring stitches for cuts to his eyebrow and head, the 24-year-old also suffered from “a second degree dislocation of the AC joint in his right shoulder, a bruise of the ribs, the right shoulder blade and left wrist, he has abrasions on his hips, back, arms and legs and cuts at his right eyebrow and the back of his head.”
— Mihai Cazacu (@faustocoppi60) July 10, 2018
“Of course the Tour is a race where you want to continue as long as possible, but I don’t think that I could hold my handlebars safely” Benoot said.
The rider struggled to get himself ready, let alone ride. “It is difficult to put on my t-shirt so it would be hard to race more than 200km on the highest level in the Tour.”
“I haven’t seen footage of the crash, but I think a Movistar rider – most likely [Nairo] Quintana – had to pull on his brakes in front of me and I wasn’t able to avoid him. I think that I was the first rider who crashed.
“It’s a big disappointment as the Tour hadn’t really got going for me and André [Greipel] was getting closer to a stage victory. Things were going in the right direction and Wednesday and Thursday’s stages were the first ones that I’d personally targeted.
Beenot is just the fourth rider to abandon the race as we head into stage five which will take riders 204.5km from Lorient to Quimper on what is looking like an Ardennes classic type of day.