Andy Schleck out of the Tour de France through injury

Trek Factory rider fails to start stage 4

Andy Schleck (Trek Factory Racing) has been forced to abandon the Tour de France after the injuries he sustained in a crash on stage 3 ruled him out of starting Tuesday’s stage to Lille.

In a statement on Twitter, his team said: "We are sad to announce that Andy Schleck cannot take the start in @letour today. The ligaments and meniscus in the right knee are too severely damaged from his crash in yesterday's final. He will travel to Basel now for examination and a possible operation."

Schleck came into the race hoping to help his brother Fränk in the general classification and although he had struggled for form and fitness this year, he remained an important part of the Trek team.

However he crashed heavily inside the final 30 kilometres on stage three to London and lost over a minute. After the stage he talked to the media outside the team bus and appeared in pain.

Schleck also took to Twitter on Tuesday to confirm his abandonment. “Very disappointed to let you know that i will not be able to start. My knee is too damaged from the crash. This is a huge blow for me,” he wrote.

“This is a huge blow for me. I went on the rollers as soon as we arrived in Le Touquet, to get the muscles and tendons warmed up, but the pain is too much. I believed until that moment that I would start. I think I ignored the pain somehow, hiding it in the back of my head," he later said on the team's website.

Schleck will now head to Basle, Switzerland for further tests.

“Andy will undergo an MRI-scan of the knee and we will subsequently decide if an operation is necessary. He’s clearly in a lot of pain and starting would be a very bad idea. We tried all treatments that we have at our disposition in competition, but the injury is too severe to have him racing, " team doctor Andreas Gösele said.

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