Moncoutié out of the final Tour de France

Crash forces Frenchman's first ever abandon

David Moncoutié (Cofidis) brought the curtain down on his Tour de France career in sorry circumstances on Friday, when a crash on stage 12 forced him to abandon the race. It was the 37-year-old’s 11th and final Tour appearance, and it was the first time that he had ever abandoned a grand tour.

Moncoutié fell heavily on the descent of the Col du Grand-Cucheron, and although he sustained no broken bones, he suffered heavy contusions to his left side and required stitches to an injury on his right elbow.

“I overshot a corner on the descent and I wasn’t able to change my line as there was a lot of gravel and it was fast,” Moncoutié told L’Équipe. “After the crash, I thought about the fact that it was my last Tour.”

13th overall in the 2002 Tour and a stage winner at Figeac in 2004 and Digne-les-Bains in 2005, Moncoutié is set to retire at the end of this season and he was disappointed to miss out on racing on the Champs-Élysées one final time.

“It’s the first time I’ve abandoned a Grand Tour and it hurts to quit the most beautiful race in the world,” he said. “I’m a bit dejected, I thought I’d get to Paris, I was getting back into good condition. It’s sad, but that’s cycling.”

Moncoutié was optimistic about his chances of recovering from his injuries in time for the Vuelta a España, which gets underway on August 18. In the twilight of his career, Moncoutié has put together a fine sequence at the Spanish race, winning a stage and the mountains classification in each of the past four editions of the race.

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