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Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida) pulled out of the Tour de France in the middle of stage 12 without explanation, even to his own team.
The reigning world time trial champion abandoned the race with approximately 80km remaining in Thursday’s stage, just a day ahead of the Tour’s first individual time trial. It remains unclear why he pulled out of the race.
French television sent its motorcycle reporter, former professional Thomas Voeckler, to the team’s directors in their team cars, but neither could provide an explanation for the abandonment.
When a rider abandons the Tour, they generally climb into one of their team cars, at which point the team formally confirms the reason for the abandonment via a statement on social media or via email to reporters.
As of 4pm local time in Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Bahrain-Merida had not yet confirmed why Dennis abandoned. The team sent a Tweet that only added to the confusion.
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.
— Team Bahrain McLaren (@BahrainMcLaren) July 18, 2019
CyclingTips understands that Dennis stopped at the day’s feedzone and came to the finish in a team car. Dennis was spotted at the finish towards the end of the stage but didn’t speak to reporters.
No formal team statement yet. But Dennis stopped at the feed zone and came back in a team car, we’re told.
Dennis didn’t talk to reporters. pic.twitter.com/EQ5ku4qgfJ
— Caley Fretz (@CaleyFretz) July 18, 2019
Bahrain-Merida has struggled with gastro-related illness over the last few days. Vincenzo Nibali is reportedly the latest to suffer last night. But Dennis was active early in Thursday’s stage, suggesting he is feeling healthy.
Check back for more; this story is developing.
— Robbert de Rijk (@robbertderijk) July 18, 2019
Rohan Dennis zit in de bus. pic.twitter.com/4mczWl2i0N
— Martijn Hendriks (@hendriksmj) July 18, 2019