Enric Mas abandons Critérium du Dauphiné

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This article originally appeared on Velo News

Battered and bruised Enric Mas abandoned the Criterium du Dauphine ahead of stage 8.

Team Movistar confirmed Sunday morning its Tour de France-bound captain will take an early exit after a heavy fall Thursday left him off the pace and out of GC contention.

“In order to prioritize his recovery, after the blows and discomfort caused by his crash on Thursday, Enric Mas concludes his presence at the Dauphine. See you very soon, friend!” the team wrote.

Mas fell hard on the roads into Chaintre on Thursday and hasn’t recovered since.

The Spaniard was dropped early in Saturday’s Alpine stage and finished nearly 17 minutes back on the leading pack.

"Enric was the leader, and that crash really affected him a lot," teammate Matteo Jorgenson told VeloNews at the line Saturday. "Half of the skin on his left-hand side was gone, and it was really hard to sleep. We were hoping for the best, he's in such great shape. These things happen.”

Mas will be on the recovery fast-track for the Tour. The 27-year-old leads Movistar into the French three-weeker after finishing top-6 in his last four grand tours.

Jorgenson will now lead the Dauphine charge for Movistar on Sunday. The young American impressed all week and is currently in eighth in a closely knit ball of six classification riders as he chases Tour de France selection.

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