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Leukemans sorry to end Tour early

By:
Cycling News
Published:
July 23, 2011, 11:46 BST,
Updated:
July 23, 2011, 12:46 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Saturday, July 23, 2011
Race:
Tour de France, Stage 19
Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM) finished third overall.

Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM) finished third overall.

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Vacansoleil rider was “empty” on Alpine stages

Bjorn Leukemans has finished his first and most likely last Tour de France.  The Vacansoleil-DCM rider missed the time limit on Friday's stage which finished atop the Alpe d'Huez, crossing the line over half an hour behind winner Pierre Rolland of Europcar.

The gruppetto containing green jersey Mark Cavendish, amongst others, finished outside the time limit on the past two stages, but the race jury allowed them to stay in the race. 

However, on Friday, the jury was not as merciful to Leukemans, who finished nearly eight minutes over the limit, while the gruppetto was only 20 seconds down.

"Sorry, but unfortunately it ends here," said Leukemans, according to Sportwereld. be. "Today I had my worst day of this race. Right from the first climb I was alone. I saw a group of twenty riders ahead of me, but I couldn't catch up. 

“With Contador going so fast and my very bad legs, it was basically the start of an impossible thing. Once I was alone, I knew enough. The vessel was empty. "

Leukemans had previously said that he did not want to ride the Tour again, as it did not suit his abilities.

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