Third place Van Garderen quits Tour de France through illness
American Tejay van Garderen withdrew from the Tour de France on Wednesday's 17th stage when lying third overall due to illness.
The 26-year-old BMC Racing team leader was three minutes 32 seconds behind Tour leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) ahead of the 161-kilometres from Digne-les-Bains to Pra Loup.
But Van Garderen lost contact early on the first stage in the Alps and it soon became apparent all was not well.
His BMC Racing team said he was suffering from headaches and Van Garderen abandoned midway through the stage.
The Tour finishes in Paris on Sunday and Van Garderen had been hoping to become the first American on the podium since Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his record seven victories and his third place in 2009 for doping.
Van Garderen departed to the team car in tears.
His withdrawal was good news for Geraint Thomas, who was promoted to fifth place on the road behind Froome with four days remaining after Wednesday's finish at Pra Loup.