“Persistent pain, due to his fall on the Mont Brouilly stage (Wednesday, editor’s note), does not allow David Gaudu to continue from Paris to Nice. The Breton will observe a few days of rest and carry out additional investigations,” indicated the French team. This episode concludes a particularly gloomy Paris-Nice for Gaudu who went through the week like a ghost, far from the level which allowed him to finish second behind Tadej Pogacar but ahead of Jonas Vingegaard last year on the Promenade des Anglais.

Before the last stage, the climber from Finistère occupied an anonymous 34th place in the general classification, more than 36 minutes from the yellow jersey. The leader of Groupama-FDJ only stood out when he fell in the middle of a climb on Wednesday after trying to take off his overcoat, “an error of a cadet, of a minor, even of a youngest”, he lamented.

“Since his fall on Wednesday, David Gaudu has suffered painful muscular after-effects which have intensified over the days. Today, David is not able to repeat high-intensity efforts,” commented his team doctor Jacky Maillot. Gaudu, at 27 years old, has been going through a difficult time for a year. If he saved the furniture at the last Tour de France, with a ninth place overall, he had hardly raced since due to a series of glitches and ended 2023 without any victory, a first in five years .