Cycling: New Zealand's Bevin abandons Tour de France

Bevin (above, in June 2018) struggled to keep pace with the peloton on the 14th stage.
Bevin (above, in June 2018) struggled to keep pace with the peloton on the 14th stage.PHOTO: AFP

MENDE, France (AFP) - New Zealand's Patrick Bevin quit the Tour de France after struggling to keep pace with the peloton on the 14th stage from Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux to Mende on Saturday (July 21).

Bevin, 27, was part of the BMC team that raced to victory in the team time trial on stage three.

BMC then lost their team leader Richie Porte to injury following a crash on stage nine.

Bevin went on to help Belgian teammate Greg Van Avermaet defend the yellow jersey from stage three until he lost the race lead to Geraint Thomas on stage 11 to La Rosiere in the Alps.

Despite coming through Friday's mainly flat 13th stage to Valence, Bevin's efforts over three tough days in the Alps appeared to catch up with him.

Despite the main peloton refusing to chase down an early breakaway of 32 riders, the Kiwi racer was struggling to hang on at the back of the pack.

He eventually abandoned around 75km from the finish of the 188km-long stage.

It was Bevin's second participation in the Tour de France, having finished 114th on his debut with Cannondale in 2017.