• Luke Durbridge was forced to abandon his fourth Tour de France. (Getty)Source: Getty
Australian Luke Durbridge was among several riders who crashed in wet conditions during the stage-one individual time trial.
Cycling Central

3 Jul 2017 - 5:55 AM  UPDATED 7 Jul 2017 - 3:04 PM

Alejandro Valverde and Jon Izaguirre were already out of the Tour after they also crashed during the stage.

Durbridge finished second-last in the opening stage and was confident of continuing before he started the 203.5km second stage from Dusseldorf to Liege. 

Unfortunately for me today I had to abandon the Tour de France,” Durbridge said. “When I was out there I couldn’t get out of my saddle, I was literally pedalling with one leg.

“It’s probably the hardest bike race in the world to pull out of. I’m very upset, but if you can only pedal with one leg and you’ve got 3500km to do, it’s not possible.

“It’s upsetting for me not to be able to support the team. I just love the Tour de France and I love working for this team.

This was Durbridge's fourth Tour start and his loss is a significant blow for Orica-Scott.

Durbridge is renowned as a hard-working rider and he regularly goes to the front of bunches to either drive a break or reduce a time deficit.

“I’m going to head back to Girona and get some scans on my ankle and see what the damage is," he said. "At this stage, it’s going to be a couple of weeks off the bike before I can really rebuild, hopefully for the world championships in the back end of the season.”

Valverde out of Tour after Stage 1 TT crash
Alejandro Valverde, a key team-mate of one of the race favourites, Nairo Quintana, is out of the Tour de France after crashing during the opening time trial.

Meanwhile, Valverde had successful surgery on his broken kneecap and will need a few months to recover, his Movistar team said.

“Alejandro Valverde successfully underwent surgery last night at Duesseldorf's University Hospital to fix some of the injuries sustained in his race-ending crash."

“The operation not only consisted on healing his most serious fracture, the kneecap of his left leg but also took care of and closed two important wounds in Alejandro's tibia and gluteus.”