Fabian Cancellara has become the latest star name to drop out of the Tour de France.
The Trek rider withdrew ahead of Wednesday’s 11th stage and will rest ahead of September’s Road World Championships in Spain.
“With more luck, I could have gone home with a result in my pocket,” said Cancellara, who had finished second in Sunday’s ninth stage and was 34th overall before pulling out.
“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 is not a secret that I would like to be in my best shape there, so it is important that I take some rest.”
This year’s Tour has been hit by several big-name withdrawals in its early stages. Defending champion Chris Froome dropped out in stage five with wrist and hand fractures following a third crash in two days, while two-time winner Alberto Contador was forced to abandon after a huge crash during Monday’s 10th stage.
An eight-time Tour stage winner, Cancellara becomes the third member of his Trek team to withdraw from the race after the exits of 2010 champion Andy Schleck and Danny van Poppel.
The Tour resumes on Wednesday with a 187.5km stage from Besancon to Oyonnax, following Tuesday’s rest day.