Although he had hoped to repeat his stage win of twelve months ago and was yet to do so, Simon Gerrans has taken the decision to withdraw from this year’s Tour de France. The Australian rider completed stage 16 in the Pyrenees but will not take the start of Wednesday’s 17th stage.

“Obviously it’s disappointing not to complete the Tour de France and make it to Paris,” Gerrans said in a team announcement.

He crashed on the opening day of the Tour and said that this is the reason why he will call it a day. “With the injuries I have from stage one I think the best decision is actually to stop now and completely recover.

“I know I haven’t been 100% right since my crash but I was hoping to improve throughout the race. That hasn’t really been the case so I have been putting on a brave face and doing what I can each day.”

Gerrans won the Australian national championship title at the start of the year and then took the Santos Tour Down Under. In April he landed one of the biggest wins of his career when he triumphed in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

He wants to perform strongly in other events, and told CyclingTips before the Tour started that he intended targeting the world road race championships in Ponferrada, Spain.

He confirmed today that he has unspecified ambitions for the next few months. “I have some big goals in the second half of the season and if I am going to perform to meet these objectives I really need to make sure my health is 100% right,” he stated.

Directeur sportif Matt White said that a break was important for Gerrans. “Obviously everyone is aware that Simon injured himself quite badly on stage one,” he stated.

“He has done very well to get this far in the Tour and give it his all on numerous days for the team to try and get some results, but he is clearly not at 100%.

“The only way he is going to regain his full fitness, his full health, is to go home and have a rest. He is not going to recover finishing off these last few days.”

Simon Yates also withdrew from the Tour this week, with the British rider not starting stage 16. He was involved in two long breakaway moves and while he had hoped to make it to Paris, the team decided that it was more prudent to play things safe.