Defending Tour de France champion Chris Froome was forced to exit this year’s event on Wednesday after crashing several times during the fifth stage.

Steady rainfall led to a slick surface at the race’s Ypres to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut stage, which likely contributed to Froome's difficulties. He suffered severe cuts to his legs from an initial fall, but continued to race and managed to work his way to the front of the pack, the Guardian reports. A second fall left the 29-year-old British cyclist with injuries that necessitated his withdrawal from the competition.

Froome’s cycling squad, Team Sky, confirmed on Twitter that he had left the race. "Heartbreak for Chris Froome after another hard crash. He's climbing into the car and likely out of this year's," the team said.

The cyclist’s Stage 5 mishaps occurred just one day after a crash during the event’s fourth stage left Froome with an injured wrist and cuts to his thigh. Froome entered Stage 5 in seventh place.