Two-time champion Alberto Contador has pulled out of the Tour de France during the ninth stage due to fever
Two-time champion Alberto Contador has pulled out of the Tour de France during the ninth stage due to a fever.
Slightly more than 100km from the end of the stage, the Spaniard stopped at the side of the road, hopped off his bike and got into the passenger seat of his team car.
Contador crashed in each of the opening stages and had lost time on the other overall favourites.
He was in 20th position at the end of Saturdays eighth stage, 3 minutes, 12 seconds behind leader Chris Froome.
After early participation in a breakaway attempt Contador dropped back to his team car during Sundays stage four times before finally withdrawing.
Contador, who had a fever in the morning, called it quits 104km from the finish line after trying his luck one last time with a vintage early move.
I have not recovered from the crashes, Ive been sick overnight, thats why I made this decision. I could not continue, said the Spaniard.
Contador was attempting to win his third Tour de France and his eighth Grand Tour overall.
The at times controversial Spaniard was stripped of his 2010 Tour de France and his 2011 Giro DItalia victories after being found guilty of accidentally ingesting the prohibited substance clenbuterol.
Contador has made a successful return to the sport winning the 2012 and 2014 Vuelta a Espaa and the 2015 Giro DItalia.