Dennis pulls out of Tour de France in unclear circumstances
Rohan Dennis competes in the Giro d'Italia cycling race, on May 22, 2018. (Daniel Dal Zennaro / ANSA via AP)
The Associated Press
Published Thursday, July 18, 2019 10:53AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 18, 2019 11:26AM EDT
BAGNERES-DE-BIGORRE, France -- Time trial world champion Rohan Dennis has abandoned the Tour de France during the first Pyrenean stage amid reports he clashed with his team's officials.
The Australian rider pulled out of the race with about 80 kilometres left on Thursday before the two big climbs in Stage 12.
Dennis's Bahrain-Merida team said it has opened an investigation to shine a light on the reasons behind his withdrawal.
"We will not be commenting further until we have established what has happened to Rohann Dennis," the team said on Twitter. "Our priority is the welfare of all our riders."
According to the French TV station broadcasting the race, Dennis had an argument with Bahrain Merida's officials in the team car.
Dennis was expected to challenge for a stage win during Friday's individual time trial in Pau.