Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida) has abandoned the Tour de France, climbing off the bike 80 kilometres from the end of stage 12 to Bagnères-de-Bigorre. Bahrain-Merida indicated in a post on Twitter that the team staff were unaware of the reasons why Dennis pulled out of the race, but they have launched an investigation.
“Our priority is the welfare of all our riders so will launch an immediate investigation but will not be commenting further until we have established what has happened to @RohanDennis. Meantime we continue to support our riders who are mid-race,” the team wrote on their official Twitter account.
The Australian had been in the battle for the breakaway earlier in the stage, giving no hints that he would pull out of the race hours later. Dennis had been in top form in the run-up to July, finishing second at the Tour de Suisse, but has had a quiet first half of the Tour.
Dennis’ abandon comes just one day before the 27km individual time trial in Pau, a stage he would have been among the favourites to win as the reigning time trial world champion.
The Independent reported that “according to French TV, Dennis was seen arguing with his team car before climbing off his bike”, indicating that there may have been a disagreement between Dennis and the Bahrain-Merida management.
After reaching the finish in Bagneres-de-Bigorre by car, Dennis emerged from the team bus flanked by his agent, Andrew McQuaid, and surrounded by the press. Neither Dennis nor McQuaid provided a comment regarding Dennis’ reason for abandoning the Tour de France as they walked away.
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com
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