Team Sky’s Simon Gerrans has been forced to withdraw from the 2010 Tour de France after breaking his arm in a crash during stage 8 on Sunday.

Gerrans fell in the first 10km of racing in yesterday’s mountains stage to Avoriaz. He re-mounted and completed the stage in the sprinters group, 32 minutes and 34 seconds behind winner Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank), despite being in pain. X-rays later confirmed that the Australian had broken his arm.

“What’s harder than racing an Alpine stage of the TdF? Racing an Alpine stage of the TdF with a broken arm,” Gerrans wrote on his Twitter page.

“Just had a scan that confirmed what I feared, I broke my arm when I crashed after 7km of yesterday’s stage. My 2010 TdF is finished.”

Gerrans is British-based Team Sky’s first withdrawal from the race, leaving seven men to support Bradley Wiggins in his aim of reaching the Tour de France podium in Paris on Sunday, July 25.

Gerrans won a stage of the Tour de France in 2008, and won a stage in both the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana the following year. He is one of only a handful of active riders to have won a stage in each of the Grand Tours.

Sky’s remaining riders are: Michael Barry (Can), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor), Steve Cummings (GB), Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa), Thomas Lovkvist (Swe), Serge Pauwels (Bel), Geraint Thomas (GB) and Bradley Wiggins (GB).

Tour de France 2010: Latest news

Tour de France 2010: rest day review (July 12)

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Sky’s objective clear ahead of Tour’s high mountains

The Feed Zone (July 10): Tour de France news and views

Thomas: ‘Yellow jersey would be unbelievable

Analysis: The role of Renshaw

Cavendish strikes back in Tour de France

Thomas happy with Tour’s white jersey; but says ‘All for Brad’

Wiggins crashes on Tour stage start

Cavendish and Farrar return to top

Cavendish keeps up fight for first Tour win

Sky delivers Boasson Hagen to third without pressure

Tour de France 2010: Stage reports

Stage seven: Chavanel wins stage and takes overall as Thomas drops out of Tour’s white

Stage six: Cavendish makes it two as Tour hots up

Stage five: Cavendish wins his first stage of Tour

Stage four: Petacchi wins into Reims

Stage three: Hushovd takes dramatic win; Thomas second on stage and GC

Stage three live coverage: As it happened

Stage two: Comeback man Chavanel takes victory in Spa

Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters

Prologue: Cancellara pips Martin to win

Tour de France 2010: Photos

Stage seven photo gallery

Stage six photo gallery

Stage five photo gallery

Stage four photo gallery

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one gallery

Prologue photo gallery

Tour de France 2010: Videos

Stage seven video highlights

Stage six video highlights

Stage five video highlights

Stage four video highlights

Stage three video highlights

Stage two video highlights

Stage one video highlights

Prologue video highlights

Tour de France 2010: Race guide

Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Official start list, with race numbers

Brits at the Tour 2010

Tout team guide

Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins

Tour de France 2010: Pictures

Tour team presentation, Rotterdam

Tour teams take to the cobbles: Photo special