Blow to Belgian hopes in Tour de France

Belgian hopes of victory in the Tour de France have sustained a setback after Philippe Gilbert pulled out of the race.  Gilbert’s team Lotto-Soudal announced the Belgian would not take part in the second stage following his fall in the first in Nice yesterday.

Heavy rainfall in the Nice area resulted in numerous falls on Saturday. Two Lotto-Soudal riders were injured. Gilbert hurt his left kneecap, while his German teammate John Degenkolb’s fall meant he failed to complete the stage within the permitted time and immediately knew it was over for him.

Both Gilbert and Degenkolb were taken to hospital after the race.  Doctors diagnosed a fractured kneecap on Gilbert and in the middle of the night his team decided to pull him out of the race.  Lotto-Soudal announced their decision via Twitter.

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