Patrick Bevin has been forced to abandon the Tour de France. The BMC Racing rider endured one of the toughest weeks in his grand tour career prior to the first rest day in defence of the yellow jersey, but has since been struck by gastrointestinal issues which have forced him out of stage 14.
It was a sad sight as the TV cameras caught the figure of Patrick Bevin labouring pedal stroke by pedal stroke through the convoy of cars at the back of the peloton in stage 14 to Mende. Sadly for Bevin there would be no repeat of his heroic finishing of Le Tour last year, which took place despite a broken foot. This time it wasn’t even injury that would set him back, but illness as gastrointestinal issues brought an end to what has been a race to remember for him and for New Zealand already.
Bevin has been exemplary throughout the Tour de France, most notably in the way he rode in defence of the maillot jaune when it was on the shoulders of Greg van Avermaet. The Te Awamutu rider spent kilometre after kilometre on the front of the peloton in the early stages of several days of racing after the team had won the team time trial in stage 3. He survived the stage to Roubaix while compatriot and former polka dot jersey wearer Dion Smith sustained a broken thumb in a crash; and while Bevin’s teammate Richie Porte was also forced to abandon.
When the maillot jaune was finally wrestled from Greg van Avermaet the race took a different shape for Bevin, who managed to survive the mountains that included the legendary climb of Alpe d’Huez. But he will be unable to continue his way through his second Tour de France.
We wish Patrick all the very best in recovery and look forward to seeing him pin the numbers on again in the near future.