Rohan Dennis abandons Tour de France on rest day

Australian heads home to train for the Olympics

Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) will not take to the start of stage 17 of the Tour de France on Wednesday after his team confirmed that the Australia would head home and concentrate on his Olympic Games preparations.

Dennis, who won the opening stage of the 2015 Tour and wore yellow, finished fifth in the individual time trial in this year's race and devoted his energies to supporting BMC's leaders, Tejay van Garderen and Richie Porte, who both sit inside the Tour's top ten.

There are five stages remaining to this year's race with four of them in the Alps before the final processional stage to Paris.

Dennis will leave the race and head back to his base in Andorra. He is part of the Australian men's Olympic team and will take part in both the road race and the individual time trial.

"It has been an incredibly tough two weeks of racing at the Tour de France and Rohan has been an asset to the team, both with his fifth place in the first time trial, and working in support of our leaders throughout the race," Sports Director Yvon Ledanois said in a statement.

"BMC Racing Team's performance and management team agree that it is not in his best interest to continue racing beyond stage 16. The next two weeks are crucial for him as he prepares for the Rio Olympics and given the final time trial here at the Tour de France isn't suited to him, his preparation is best done at home in order to avoid further fatigue."

Dennis had been sitting in 138th place, 2:40:06 down on race leader Chris Froome of Team Sky. BMC Racing will continue in the race with their eight remaining riders.

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