Tour de France stage 17, 161km Digne-les-Bains to Pra Loup, France.

Simon Geschke, Giant-Alpecin, won the mountain stage.

American Tejay van Garderen’s, Team BMC, Tour de France challenge came to a cruel end when the BMC Racing rider pulled out of the race due to illness during the 17th stage on Wednesday.

Van Garderen, who was third overall, visited the medical car several times and eventually stepped off his bike with about 73km of the stage left. The Tour’s medical services said Van Garderen, fifth overall in the 2012 and 2014 editions, was suffering from headaches. He was three minutes and 32 seconds behind overall leader Chris Froome Team Sky, of Britain.



Spain’s Rafael Valls won Thursday’s tough Tour of Oman fourth stage with a summit finish on the Green Mountain to take the overall lead. American Tejay Van Garderen came home second 5sec adrift with Spaniard Alejandro Valverde, at 19sec, completing the podium.

“I didn’t expect to win at all, especially with the riders left in the final group, and I thought it was practically impossible for me to win. “Van Garderen is one of the riders who can finish in the top five in the Tour de France and to beat him is incredible,” added the jubilent Valls, who picked up only his second career stage win and first since the Tour of San Luis five years ago.
“I had four difficult years, with a lot of accidents but I never lost hope. I worked hard during the winter and arrived in better condition than ever.” added the 27-year-old.

Results Stage 4
1. Rafael Valls (ESP/LAM) 5hr 46min 48sec
2. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) at 05
3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 19

General Classification
1. Rafael Valls (ESP/LAM) 18hr 05min 44sec
2. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) at 09
3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 19

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