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Tour de France 2020: Egan Bernal withdraws from race

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Defending champion Egan Bernal has withdrawn from the Tour de France ahead of stage 17.

After struggling with back pain and conceding more time to overall leader Primoz Roglic, the Colombian has called it a day.

With Ineos Grenadiers chief Sir Dave Brailsford adamant his star rider is best served saving himself for future races.

Brailsford said: “We have taken this decision with Egan’s best interests at heart.

“Egan is a true champion who loves to race, but he is also a young rider, with many Tours ahead of him and at this point, on balance, we feel it is wiser for him to stop racing.”

Bernal meanwhile admitted his disappointment, but insisted he was determined to return to the sport’s iconic race in years to come.

“I have the greatest respect for this race and I am already looking forward to coming back in the years ahead.”

“This is obviously not how I wanted my Tour de France to end, but I agree that it is the right decision for me in the circumstances,” said a dispirited Bernal.

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