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Moncoutié out of the final Tour de France

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(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The mercurial David Moncoutie (Cofidis).

The mercurial David Moncoutie (Cofidis). (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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For most of stage 4 these riders were off the front: David Moncoutie (Cofidis), Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar) and Anthony Delaplace (Saur-Sojasun)

For most of stage 4 these riders were off the front: David Moncoutie (Cofidis), Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar) and Anthony Delaplace (Saur-Sojasun) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

David Moncoutié (Cofidis) brought the curtain down on his Tour de France career in sorry circumstances on Friday, when a crash on stage 12 forced him to abandon the race. It was the 37-year-old’s 11th and final Tour appearance, and it was the first time that he had ever abandoned a grand tour.

“I overshot a corner on the descent and I wasn’t able to change my line as there was a lot of gravel and it was fast,” Moncoutié told L’Équipe. “After the crash, I thought about the fact that it was my last Tour.”

13th overall in the 2002 Tour and a stage winner at Figeac in 2004 and Digne-les-Bains in 2005, Moncoutié is set to retire at the end of this season and he was disappointed to miss out on racing on the Champs-Élysées one final time.

“It’s the first time I’ve abandoned a Grand Tour and it hurts to quit the most beautiful race in the world,” he said. “I’m a bit dejected, I thought I’d get to Paris, I was getting back into good condition. It’s sad, but that’s cycling.”

Moncoutié was optimistic about his chances of recovering from his injuries in time for the Vuelta a España, which gets underway on August 18. In the twilight of his career, Moncoutié has put together a fine sequence at the Spanish race, winning a stage and the mountains classification in each of the past four editions of the race.