Updated: 07/23/2014 21:50 | By Agence France-Presse

Australian Gerrans pulls out of Tour de France

Australian champion Simon Gerrans has pulled out of the Tour de France, withdrawing before the start the 17th stage on Wednesday.

Australian Gerrans pulls out of Tour de France

Australia's Simon Gerrans attends the signature ceremony prior to the start of the 161 km eighth stage of the Tour de France between Tomblaine and Gerardmer La Mauselaine, eastern France on July 12, 2014 - by Lionel Bonaventure

The 34-year-old Orica GreenEDGE rider had been suffering since crashing on the first stage more than two weeks ago.

"Obviously it's disappointing not to complete the Tour de France and make it to Paris," said the winner of April's Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

"But with the injuries I have from stage one I think the best decision is actually to stop now and completely recover. 

"I know I haven't been 100 percent right since my crash but I was hoping to improve throughout the race. That hasn't really been the case so I have been putting on a brave face and doing what I can each day."

Gerrans wore the Tour leader's yellow jersey for two days last year after Orica won the team time-trial. 

He had also won the third stage before that, but he has been unable to truly challenge for a stage win this time around.

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