Kittel abandons Tour de France after crash
Marcel Kittel has abandoned the Tour de France after the green jersey holder crashed early on stage 17.
The Quick-Step Floors rider was among several riders involved in a smash only 20 kilometres into the 183km route from La Mure to Serre-Chevalier on Wednesday.
Points leader Kittel hit the deck hard and grimaced as he waited for a new bike at the side of the road with a bloodied knee and a damaged shoulder.
The German attempted to continue on a damaged bike with his shirt ripped, but pulled over before a team car provided him with a new one and he changed his right cleat while cycling slowly up the road.
Kittel, winner of five stages on the Tour this year, was treated by a medic as he caught up with the peloton after they slowed down but pulled out of the race on the first big climb of the day in the Alps after attempting to soldier on.
His withdrawal puts Michael Matthews, who picked up 20 points in the intermediate sprint to reduce Kittel's advantage to nine points, in pole position to take the green jersey.