Diminished by a fever and still reeling from crashes on the opening two days of the race, two-time champion Alberto Contador pulled out of the Tour de France during the toughest Pyrenean stage on Sunday.
Slightly more than 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the end of Stage 9 from the Spanish town of Vielha to the ski resort of Arcalis in Andorra, the 33-year-old Spaniard stopped at the side of the road, hopped off his bike and got into the passenger seat of his team car.
“I could not keep going,” Contador later said at his team hotel. “This morning I had a fever. And I did not feel good since I crashed on the first day.”