Tour de France: Tearful exit for 'mentally broken' Merlier

Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) at the Tour de France
Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) at the Tour de France (Image credit: Alpecin-Fenix)

Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) stepped off the bike on stage 9 of the Tour de France after the tail end of the race disappeared up the road, with even a stage win on his debut Tour providing little consolation for the Belgian.

“It feels more like I didn't get my high school diploma,” Merlier told Dutch website Wielerflits in an interview after his withdrawal. “Finishing the Tour is something I absolutely wanted, but was unable to finish. Fair? I'm even a little embarrassed. I don't get emotional easily, but today I did shed a tear. I wanted to make it to Paris. Sprinting on the Champs-Elysées."

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