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Tour de France sees fewest finishers in two decades as 41 abandoned race

PARIS FRANCE JULY 24 A general view of Christopher Juul Jensen of Denmark and Team BikeExchange Jayco Benoit Cosnefroy of France and AG2R Citren Team PierreLuc Perichon of France and Team Cofidis Florian Senechal of France and QuickStep Alpha Vinyl Team and the peloton passing close to The Arc de Triomf during the 109th Tour de France 2022 Stage 21 a 1156km stage from Paris La Dfense to Paris Champslyses TDF2022 WorldTour on July 24 2022 in Paris France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
The peloton heads onto the Champs-Élysées during stage 21 of the Tour de France (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)

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

StageRiderReason
5Michael Gogl (Alpecin-Deceuninck)Crash (broken pelvis/iliac bone)
5Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious)Crash
6Daniel Oss (TotalEnergies)Crash (fractured vertebrae)
6Alex Kirsch (Trek-Segafredo)Crash
8Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates)COVID-19
8Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën)COVID-19
8Gianni Moscon (Astana Qazaqstan)Long-COVID
8Kevin Vermaerke (Team DSM)Crash (fractured collarbone)
9Guillaume Martin (Cofidis)COVID-19
9Kasper Asgreen (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl)Injury (knee)
9Ruben Guerreiro (EF Education-EasyPost)Illness
Rest dayBen O'Connor (AG2R Citroën)Injury (torn glute)
Rest dayAlexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies)Injury (skin infection)
10Luke Durbridge (BikeExchange-Jayco)COVID-19
10George Bennett (UAE Team Emirates)COVID-19
11Oliver Naesen (AG2R Citroën)Illness
11Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck)Lack of form
13Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic)COVID-19
13Victor Lafay (Cofidis)Illness
15Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma)Recovery from injuries
15Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech)COVID-19
15Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost)COVID-19
15Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma)Crash (fractured collarbone)
15Michael Mørkøv (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl)Time cut
16Mickaël Cherel (AG2R Citroën)COVID-19
16Aurelien Paret-Peintre (AG2R Citroën)COVID-19
16Max Walscheid (Cofidis)COVID-19
16Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe)Illness
16Jakob Fuglsang (Israel-Premier Tech)Injury (fractured rib)
16Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates)Time cut
17Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal)COVID-19
17Rafał Majka (UAE Team Emirates)Injury (knee)
17Fabio Felline (Astana Qazaqstan)Illness
18Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious)COVID-19
18Imanol Erviti (Movistar)COVID-19
18Chris Froome (Israel-Premier Tech)COVID-19
19Enric Mas (Movistar)COVID-19
20Nathan Van Hooydonck (Jumbo-Visma)Family circumstances
21Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech)COVID-19
21Guillaume Boivin (Israel-Premier Tech)Ilness
21Gorka Izagirre (Movistar)Racing elsewhere

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