Wednesday 4 March 2015

Fabian Cancellara becomes latest Tour de France casualty

Published 15/07/2014 | 16:24

GERARDMER, FRANCE - JULY 13:  Fabian Cancellara of Switerland and Trek Factory Racing Team   looks on at the start of the ninth stage of the 2014 Tour de France, a 170km stage between Gerardmer and Mulhouse, on July 13, 2014 in Gerardmer, France.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Fabian Cancellara

Fabian Cancellara announced his withdrawal from the Tour de France on the race's first rest day on Tuesday, becoming the latest big name to exit, albeit the Swiss did so voluntarily.

Unlike previous winners Chris Froome, Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck and 25-time stage winner Mark Cavendish - all of whom crashed out - Cancellara chose to abandon the race prior to the Alps and Pyrenees in order to prepare for September's Road World Championships in Spain.

Cancellara said in a statement released by his Trek Factory Racing team: "I will travel home now and take a little break. The season has been long for me, starting back in Dubai (in February).

"I have done 59 days of competition this season so far and I have another big goal at the end of this season: the World Championships.

"It's not a secret that I'd like to be in my best shape there, so it's important that I take some rest."

Cancellara was fifth over the stage five cobbles, a day which he began as one of the favourites for stage victory.

His departure, coupled with the exits of Schleck and Danny van Poppel, leaves Trek with six remaining riders.

The Tour continues with Wednesday's 11th stage, the 187.5-kilometre route from Besancon to Oyonnax.

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