Rafal Majka withdraws from the Tour de France

Two-time king of the mountains out after stage 9 crash

Rafal Majka has withdrawn from the Tour de France following a hard fall on Sunday's hectic ninth stage, his Bora-Hansgrohe team announced on Monday.

Majka went down with Sky's Geraint Thomas, who abandoned without finishing stage 9 having sustained a broken collarbone, in the first half of the mountainous trek to Chambéry. The 27-year-old Pole, winner of the mountains classification in both 2014 and 2016, did make it to the finish line narrowly within the time limit, but ultimately decided to leave the race after waking up with serious pain on the ensuing rest day.

"I have pain everywhere today, but I was lucky to have no fractures at all," Majka said via the team announcement. "I cannot explain exactly what happened when I crashed. I didn't break or anything, but my front wheel slipped away. Also Risto, our mechanic, almost fell when he arrived with the spare bike. There must have been some oil or something similar on the road. However, after the crash I suffered a lot. I want to thank my whole Bora-Hansgrohe team, everybody waited for me first, but we told Emanuel [Buchmann] to go and save our chances in the GC, then Jay [McCarthy] was with me and brought me up to the next bigger group.

"Also thanks to Michal Kwiatkowski who helped me in the end. After this heavy crash, it does not make any sense to keep on fighting. I can hardly breath because of the pain. We had to take a wise decision, for my health, but also for the rest of the season. I'll take some rest now, then I will start preparing myself for the rest of the season."

Bora-Hansgrohe team doctor Jan-Niklas Droste expounded on Majka's injuries.

"Directly after the stage we went to the medical truck of the Tour, but decided to go to the hospital for further examinations and to be sure that especially his spine is okay," Droste said. "He suffers from heavy contusions and can hardly breath because of the pain. He also lost a lot of skin and has some deep excoriations. From a safety perspective it's best to leave the Tour now and take some rest to recover."

Bora took the start in Düsseldorf last week boasting both the defending points champion and the defending mountains champion on their line-up, but they now find themselves racing without either of their two top names. Peter Sagan, five-time winner of the green jersey, was controversially disqualified after colliding with Dimension Data's Mark Cavendish in a messy finishing sprint on stage 4.

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