Tour de France 2017: Points leader Marcel Kittel abandons Tour after crash

Australia's Michael Matthews is in green with four stages of the Tour de France remaining

Australia's Michael Matthews is in green with four stages of the Tour de France remaining

The crash occurred early in a demanding Stage 17 that required the riders to cycle 183 kilometers through the Alps from La Mure, France to Serre-Chevalier.

Kittel hit the deck hard and grimaced as he waited for a new bike at the side of the road with a bloodied knee and a damaged shoulder.

Kittel, victor of five stages of the Tour this year, didn't abandon the race immediately.

Kittel sustained injuries to his shoulder and had to change a shoe, and was seen receiving extensive treatment by the Tour's medical vehicle before the base of the Col de la Croix de Fer, the first of three big climbs of the stage.

Five stage wins had catapulted Kittel into the green jersey, but a crash 20 kilometres into the stage led to him abandoning the race at the top of the Col de la Croix de Fer climb.

Quick-Step confirmed Kittel's abandonment on Twitter on Wednesday, calling it "sad news".

And get this: Poljanski's legs look like this and he isn't even winning.

Sprinter Kittel of Quick-Step Floors has won five stages of the Tour and is leading the points classification since back-to-back stage wins on Stages 6 and 7, although his lead in the competition has steadily diminished due to the impressive form of rival Team Sunweb sprinter Michael Matthews.

Kittel, who is generally very active on social media, has yet to comment on his condition.

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