Australia’s Simon Gerrans has been ruled out of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after breaking his collarbone at the Tour de France.
The 36-year-old suffered the injury during a chaotic 184 kilometre stage from Montpellier to Mont Ventoux, which also saw his fellow Australia Richie Porte, Britain’s defending champion Chris Froome and the Netherlands’ Bauke Mollema involved in a crash with a motorbike.
Gerrans has since been forced to undergo surgery in Barcelona, which has ended his hopes of competing at the Games next month.
“I am a proud Australian and as an athlete there is no greater honour than representing your country at the Olympic Games,” Gerrans said, after informing the Australian Olympic Team he would not be able to take up his place.
“Following my crash in stage 12 of the Tour de France resulting in a broken clavicle, with enormous regret I would like to inform you of my decision to withdraw from the Australian team for the Rio Olympic Games.
“My goal at the Olympic Games was to get the best result possible for Australia.
“For Australia to have the best chance to achieve the best result possible, I feel I should be replaced by one of the riders in the squad.”
The 2014 world road race silver medallist had been due to become only the fourth Australian cyclist to appear on the men’s road team at three Olympic Games.
Cycling Australia are now expected to choose a replacement this week to join Porte and Rohan Dennis in the team, with the duo competing in both road race and time trial events at the Games.
Gerrans is not the only rider to be forced to pull out of the Games following injuries sustained at the Tour de France, with stage one crash victim Alberto Contador also having withdrawn.
The Spaniard, who eventually pulled out on the race on stage nine through illness, claimed he would not have time to sufficiently recover to take part in the Games.
Contador missed the London 2012 Olympics due to serving a doping suspension, leaving the 33-year-old’s sole appearance at the Games as Beijing 2008, where he finished fourth in the time trial and failed to finish the road race.