Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, France (4E Sports) – Britain’s Chris Froome will not be defending his Tour de France title after he pulled out of the event due to injuries.
After hurting his wrist in fourth-stage crash, Froome crashed twice in the 152.5 kilometer fifth stage from Ypres to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, the first coming at kilometer 29.
Despite the crash, Froome made his way back to the bunch with the help of teammates. However, he crashed again and called it a quit at km 83, indicating that his right arm was injured.
“Devastated to have to withdraw from this year’s TDF. Injured wrist and tough conditions made controlling my bike near to impossible,” Froome tweeted.
Lars Boom of Belkin Pro Cycling emerged as winner in the fifth stage, finishing the route in 3 hours, 18 minutes and 35 seconds.
“This is my most beautiful win,” Boom said. “It rained all day and the roads were extremely slippery. It was a crazy race with all the crashes but I stayed at the front, out of trouble.”
“This morning, when I saw the weather, I smiled a bit. I was relaxed and confident all day. In the last corner, when I looked back and realized that I was going to win, I was shaking my head because it was an amazing feeling,” he added.
After finishing third on the stage, Vincenzo Nibali retained the yellow jersey with a two-second lead over Jakob Fuglsang, who ended in second behind Boom. Former Tour winner Alberto Contador lost ground on Nibali after a 37th-place finish Wednesday.
“It was a really stressful day and a very hard race,” Nibali said. “I wasn’t thinking of the yellow jersey. I was just focused on riding the best I could.’
A 94-kilometer journey from Arras to Reims awaits riders in Thursday’s Stage 6.