German Marcel Kittel crashed out of the Tour de France on Wednesday while wearing the green jersey as the top sprinter.
Kittel, who won five of the first 11 stages in this year’s Tour, was caught up in a crash in the first 15 miles of Stage 17. His green jersey was ripped around his shoulder, with blood streaming down his leg.
NBC Sports’ Steve Porino reported that Kittel suffered a setback on the rest day Monday that contributed to his abandonment.
Kittel’s absence means Australian Michael Matthews will inherit the green jersey and almost surely win the sprinters’ title on Sunday in Paris.
Matthews, who trailed Kittel by 29 points, held a massive 140-point lead over third-place German Andre Greipel coming into Wednesday’s stage.
Matthews is set to become the first Australian to win the green jersey at the Tour since the last of Robbie McEwen‘s three victories in 2006.
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