This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.
Chris Froome (Sky) has abandoned the Tour de France after suffering two crashes on stage 5 to Arenberg. The Briton fell after 35 kilometres without any consequences but he was forced to abandon with what appeared to be an arm injury after a second crash just before the first sector of cobbles.
The stage was affected by heavy rainfall, which saw the race jury take the decision to cut two of the planned nine sectors of cobbles from the parcours, and the conditions contributed to a number of crashes during the frenetic first 90 kilometres of racing.
Froome’s first crash was at Ledegem, just 35 kilometres after the start in Ypres, but he was immediately back on his bike and was paced to the peloton by a gaggle of his Sky teammates.
In the ten kilometres before the first stretch of cobblestones at Gruson, Froome was marshalled towards the front end of the peloton by his teammates, although Vasil Kiryienka went down in a crash on a rain-slicked roundabout.
Shortly afterwards, Froome himself fell again. His second crash of the day – and his third of the Tour after a spill in the opening kilometres on stage 4 – spelt the end of his race.