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Pogacar’s Tour challenge takes a big hit as Majka pulls out hurt before Stage 17

Tadej Pogacar’s team has taken a further knock with Rafal Majka forced to pull out of this year’s Tour de France. The Polish climber, one of Pogacar’s key lieutenants in the mountains, sustained a thigh injury during yesterday’s stage. At a key moment, whilst riding out of the saddle at the front of the lead group, Majka’s chain snapped and the transfer of energy caused quite a harsh sudden stop. The impact of the leg against the bike is ultimately what has forced the withdrawal of such a key rider.

“Majka sustained a strain injury to his thigh after some mechanical trouble on stage 16 when his chain broke.

This resulted in a high-grade partial thickness tear of his right quadriceps muscle, and unfortunately due to the muscle damage he is unable to ride.”

UAE Emirates team doctor Adrian Rotunno

Pogacar now only has 3 teammates to support his bid to close the gap on Dane Jonas Vingegaard who is currently in the yellow jersey. One of those teammates, Marc Hirschi, hasn’t been at full fitness this Tour de France and has only provided limited assistance so far. This situation naturally helps Jumbo Visma’s bid to take a first yellow jersey in Paris.