Rarely have they just vanished in the middle of a stage as Rohan Dennis did Thursday during the first Pyrenean stage.
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For a couple of hours on an otherwise uneventful day in the mountains, nobody was able to say where Dennis, the time trial world champion, had gone.
Dennis, an Australian, resurfaced at the finish line in Bagnères-de-Bigorre, where the British rider Simon Yates, the reigning Spanish Vuelta champion, posted his first stage win after a long breakaway that did not shuffle the overall standings.
Dennis was spotted near the Bahrain Merida team bus after the stage but did not comment on his decision to pull out.
“We are also confused,” Gorazd Stangelj, the Bahrain Merida team director, said. “It was his decision today to stop at the feed zone. We tried to speak with him. He said, ‘I just don’t want to talk’ and abandoned the race.”
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