Tour de France: Reigning champ Chris Froome abandons 2014 race

Chris Froome had to abandon the 2014 Tour. (Getty Images)
Chris Froome had to abandon the 2014 Tour. (Getty Images)

Reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome had to abandon the race in Stage 5, bringing an end to his quest for a second straight Yellow Jersey.

Froome couldn't stay clear of the crashes over the past two stages. On Tuesday he was involved in a crash in the peloton when a couple of riders around him touched wheels and Froome was the collateral damage, falling hard on his side leading to some road rash and a potential wrist injury.

Then the Hell in the North that is Stage 5 came on Wednesday, which didn't promise to be fun for Froom with injuries and the cobblestone roads awaiting. But Froome never even made it to the cobblestones, instead crashing twice and the second time he didn't get back on his bike.

A very difficult stage was made even tougher on Wednesday as heavy rain hit Belgium and northeast France leading to crash after crash. The rain was so bad that they had to remove two of the nine sections of cobblestone roads from the stage for safety.

Froome was the biggest casualty of those crashes and after some hesitation following his second fall of the day, Froome elected to sit down in the back seat of the team car, not a new bike.

Froome won the Tour de France in 2013 with a rather comfortable margin of four minutes, 20 seconds ahead of Nairo Quintana. He was impossible to crack in the mountains and took his time trial racing to a new level.

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