German road race chamopion Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) has been forced to abandon the Tour de France after breaking his hand in a crash during the individual time trial around Pau on stage 13 on Friday.
Schachmann crashed on a downhill section later on the 27.2km course, and was able to remount and finish the stage – some way off finishing in last position, with a time that gave him 147th place out of 165 finishers. However, the extent of the 25-year-old’s injuries – fractures to the third, fourth and fifth metacarpal bones on his left hand – have left him unable to start stage 14 on Saturday.
""I feel really sorry to let my teammates and the rest of the team down," Schachmann said on his team’s website. "We’ve all put in such a strong effort on these first 12 stages, and I know I was to play an important role in the mountain stages, helping Patrick Konrad and Emanuel Buchmann. I'm sorry they won't be able to count on my support to reach their goals.
"I wanted to try to get the best result I could today," he continued. "I felt good, I had good pace and I was even able to push harder in the last part of the parcours. I pushed to my limit and I took a right corner too fast. It was a misjudgment on my part; I thought I could take it tightly because it was opening up. Unfortunately, it did open up, but later than I thought. I was already sliding and there wasn't much I could do. The road was slippery there, my front wheel was sliding and I hit the ground."
Bora-Hansgrohe sports director Enrico Poitschke was sorry to see one of the squad’s strongest riders having to quit the race – Bora’s first retirement from their eight-man squad.
"He was in good shape, got off to a good start, and had a strong tempo," said Poitschke. "He was even able to increase his pace, but, on the downhill, he made a costly mistake – not just for him but for the entire team.
"With the tough mountain stages coming up, we would have needed him. Still, that's part of the sport, and when you’re a young rider, you aren't faultless. We wish him all the best and a speedy recovery, and we’re sure he’ll come back stronger," he said.