As the 2022 Tour de France draws to a close in Paris on Sunday evening, it will do so with the fewest finishers in over two decades as just 135 riders raced into the capital to take on the final kilometres of the race on the Champs-Élysées.
With 41 riders having abandoned the race during the past three weeks, a hefty chunk of the 176 men who started the Copenhagen time trial on July 1 have been forced out for a variety of reasons.
Only four squads – Ineos Grenadiers, Groupama-FDJ, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériax, and B&B Hotels-KTM – head to Paris with complete eight-rider squads, while at the other end of the scale AG2R Citroën, Israel-Premier Tech, and UAE Team Emirates limp home with three, three and four riders, respectively.
The attrition had begun before the race even got under way as five riders were forced out of participating due to COVID-19-related reasons. Tim Declercq (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) and Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) were late scratches while Israel-Premier Tech had to make two line-up changes due to close contacts.
For the first four days of the race through Denmark, the long transfer south, and the opening stage in the north of France, there were, unusually, no abandons at all. However, the cobbled stage to Arenberg brought with it the first DNFs as Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) and Daniel Oss (TotalEnergies) left the race following crashes.
The morning of stage 8 brought with it news of the first riders to leave having tested positive for COVID-19 as Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates) and Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën) abandoned following internal team testing. Gianni Moscon (Astana Qazaqstan) also left after suffering from long-COVID.
By the rest day following stage 9 in the Alps, a total of 13 riders had gone home, including Ben O'Connor (AG2R Citroën) who had fought through the previous stage with a torn glute muscle, and Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), another COVID-19 positive.
On stage 10, UAE was down another rider as key domestique George Bennett tested positive, while a week later Rafał Majka became the fourth and final rider from the team to leave the race after suffering a knee injury on stage 16.
Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) was a DNF on stage 11, having been out of sorts for much of the race, while former Jumbo-Visma co-leader Primož Roglič left on stage 15 to concentrate on recovering from injuries sustained in earlier crashes.
The same stage saw Michael Mørkøv (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) battle valiantly alone through the intense heat for 200km before missing the time cut. In the latter stages of the race, more COVID-19 cases struck, with those of Michael Woods, Chris Froome (Israel-Premier Tech), and Enric Mas (Movistar) the last of the 17 positive tests during the Tour.
The final stage into Paris brought three final abandons, as Israel-Premier Tech saw Woods (COVID-19) and Guillaume Boivin (illness) leave, while Movistar's Gorka Izagirre flew home in order to take part in his hometown race of the Ordiziako Klasika on Monday.
It's the first time since the 2000 Tour when so few riders have made it to Paris. That attritional edition saw just 127 men complete the race.
The record for the lowest number of finishers at a Tour de France, though, remains the surely unbeatable 10 that made it through the 1919 race, which was also the slowest Tour ever, running at a speed of just 24.056 kph.
A full list of abandons at the 2022 Tour de France
|5||Michael Gogl (Alpecin-Deceuninck)||Crash (broken pelvis/iliac bone)|
|5||Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious)||Crash|
|6||Daniel Oss (TotalEnergies)||Crash (fractured vertebrae)|
|6||Alex Kirsch (Trek-Segafredo)||Crash|
|8||Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates)||COVID-19|
|8||Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën)||COVID-19|
|8||Gianni Moscon (Astana Qazaqstan)||Long-COVID|
|8||Kevin Vermaerke (Team DSM)||Crash (fractured collarbone)|
|9||Guillaume Martin (Cofidis)||COVID-19|
|9||Kasper Asgreen (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl)||Injury (knee)|
|9||Ruben Guerreiro (EF Education-EasyPost)||Illness|
|Rest day||Ben O'Connor (AG2R Citroën)||Injury (torn glute)|
|Rest day||Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies)||Injury (skin infection)|
|10||Luke Durbridge (BikeExchange-Jayco)||COVID-19|
|10||George Bennett (UAE Team Emirates)||COVID-19|
|11||Oliver Naesen (AG2R Citroën)||Illness|
|11||Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck)||Lack of form|
|13||Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic)||COVID-19|
|13||Victor Lafay (Cofidis)||Illness|
|15||Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma)||Recovery from injuries|
|15||Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech)||COVID-19|
|15||Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost)||COVID-19|
|15||Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma)||Crash (fractured collarbone)|
|15||Michael Mørkøv (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl)||Time cut|
|16||Mickaël Cherel (AG2R Citroën)||COVID-19|
|16||Aurelien Paret-Peintre (AG2R Citroën)||COVID-19|
|16||Max Walscheid (Cofidis)||COVID-19|
|16||Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe)||Illness|
|16||Jakob Fuglsang (Israel-Premier Tech)||Injury (fractured rib)|
|16||Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates)||Time cut|
|17||Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal)||COVID-19|
|17||Rafał Majka (UAE Team Emirates)||Injury (knee)|
|17||Fabio Felline (Astana Qazaqstan)||Illness|
|18||Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious)||COVID-19|
|18||Imanol Erviti (Movistar)||COVID-19|
|18||Chris Froome (Israel-Premier Tech)||COVID-19|
|19||Enric Mas (Movistar)||COVID-19|
|20||Nathan Van Hooydonck (Jumbo-Visma)||Family circumstances|
|21||Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech)||COVID-19|
|21||Guillaume Boivin (Israel-Premier Tech)||Ilness|
|21||Gorka Izagirre (Movistar)||Racing elsewhere|
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