Van de Walle first to abandon Tour de France

Omega Pharma-Lotto rider suffering from stage 1 crash

The Omega Pharma-Lotto team of stage 1 winner Philippe Gilbert is down one man as Jurgen Van de Walle became the first rider to abandon the 2011 Tour de France.

The Belgian crashed on the first stage of the Tour when he overlapped wheels with Garmin-Cervélo's Ramunas Navardauskas. He soldiered on through the team time trial, but was dropped by his teammates and struggled in nearly 12 minutes behind. He finished stage 3 at the back of the peloton, and finally called it quits 20km into the stage today.

The team's doctor Jan Mathieu said that Van de Walle has a sprain to his left adductor, the muscle on the inner thigh, and despite getting intensive physiotherapy, the injury has gotten worse.

Van de Walle will travel back to Belgium for further examinations to check for a muscle tear.

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