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Gilbert abandons Tour de France due to gastroenteritis

Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) will not start stage 16 of the Tour de France in Le Puy-en-Velay due to a bout of viral gastroenteritis, according to his team.

"Sad news: @PhilippeGilbert won't start today's #TDF2017 stage due to a viral gastroenteritis. We wish you health and a fast recovery, Phil!" the team wrote on social media on Tuesday morning.

The 2017 Tour de France was his first appearance at the Grand Boucle since 2013. The call-up came after a superb spring season that saw him win the Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race and the Three days of De Panne. He tore his right kidney during a crash at the Amstel Gold Race, which put him out of the remainder of the Ardennes Classics. He returned to racing at the Baloise Belgium Tour, where he finished fourth overall. Gilbert was part of several breakaways during the Tour de France and finished fourth on Saturday's stage to Rodez. 

Gilbert is the second rider for Quick-Step Floors to leave the Tour de France after Matteo Trentin missed the time cut on stage 9. The Belgian team has been the most successful of this year's race with five stage victories from Marcel Kittel. Dan Martin also has the team in a strong place in the general classification, sitting in fifth place at 1:12 behind the yellow jersey Chris Froome.

The team will have another shot at victory with Kittel on Tuesday's stage 16 from Le Puy-en-Velay to Romans-sur-Isere, although crosswinds are expected to play a factor so victory may not be that straightforward.

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