Alberto Contador has abandoned the Tour de France due to illness. The 33-year-old Spaniard quit the race with 100km remaining on today’s ninth stage after developing a fever last night.
Contador who rides for Tinkoff had been the third favourite for overall victory but crashed twice in the opening two stages and as a result had fallen to 3min 12sec adrift of race leader Chris Froome. He went on the attack early on stage nine but tired quickly and was soon reeled back in by the peloton. Contador later made several trips back to his team car and eventually decided to quit on the day’s second climb. His cause was not helped by temperatures exceeding 35 degrees on today’s stage in the Pyrenees.
Contador won the Tour in 2007 and 2009 but has now abandoned the race in two of the last three years, having quit in 2014 after breaking his leg on stage 10. He is now likely to focus his attention to winning the Vuelta a Espana, which takes place from August 20 to September 11.He may also target the Olympic Games road race in Rio this summer.