DUSSELDORF, Germany (VN) - The 2017 Tour de France lost one of its top protagonists Saturday when Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) crashed on a wet corner, and was forced to abandon in the Tour's opening stage.
The veteran Spaniard slipped out on a rain-slicked left-hander that took down a few other riders during the 14km time trial course. Valverde slammed on his left side, and slid heavily into roadside barriers. Clearly injured, the 37-year-old was unable to remount his bicycle, and was transferred to a local hospital for observations.
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