Lorena Wiebes was forced to withdraw from the Tour de France Femmes early in the penultimate stage.
The double stage winner and first wearer of the yellow jersey crashed hard on Friday’s stage 6, suffering abrasions and requiring stitches to her elbow. Visibly in pain as she climbed back on the bike, Wiebes had made a short effort in an attempt to regain contact, but ultimately sat up and rolled to the finish. The superstar sprinter finish 7:34 after stage winner Marianne Vos, missing out on the last chance for those who favour the flatter terrain before a weekend in the mountains brings the race to a close.
Though going home injured will be a big blow to Wiebes, she’s had a very successful Tour, getting off to a spectacular start by demonstrating her sprinting superiority in stage 1’s iconic Champs-Élysées finale. After missing out on a late decisive attack the day after, the Dutch rider had to let go of yellow a little sooner than she might have anticipated, and has worn the green jersey ever since on behalf of race leader Marianne Vos, taking her second stage win in green on stage 5.
The DSM rider was all out of opportunities by the weekend, both stages 7 and 8 being far from her preferred territory. What’s more, her deficit to Vos in the points classification was an unbridgeable 76 at the start of Saturday’s mountain stage, but the decision to abandon the Tour de France will have been anything but easy.