Britain’s Charly Wegelius has pulled out of the Tour de France after suffering two tough days in the Alps. The Omega Pharma-Lotto rider did not start today’s 11th stage from Sisteron to Bourg-les-Valence.
Although the climber had enjoyed an “on-par” day on Sunday’s stage to Avoriaz, he suffered on Tuesday’s epic to St-Jean-de-Maurienne – finishing over 34 minutes back, in the same group as Mark Cavendish and Robbie McEwen.
“It was quite horrendous really,” he told Cycling Weekly before yesterday’s stage start in Chambery. “I was just going backwards all day. Even when I was with the sprinters group – and with all respect to them – I was struggling to keep up. Even if you’re modest about my talents, it’s not really where I’m supposed to be.
“I hope it’s just one bad day for whatever reason,” he added. “I’m not sick… I don’t think.”
But on yesterday’s lumpy stage into Gap, Wegelius wasn’t feeling any better. Although he was able to finish with the second bunch and was lying in 108th place overall, the decision was made to pull-out.
“Since the rest day I’ve not been able to get food to stick to me,” a now decidedly ill looking Wegelius told Cycling Weekly at today’s stage start. “I think I might have a bit of a fever too.”
Sat on the steps of his team bus in non racing gear, Wegelius said he was due to return home tomorrow but, having quit the race, wasn’t sure he would be able to bear watching it on TV.
Nonetheless, he said he has every confidence that team mate Jurgen Van Den Broeck could maintain his high place overall.
“I can’t see any reason why he couldn’t stick with those guys,” he said.
Wegelius is the only British rider to withdraw from the 2010 Tour so far, leaving seven Brits still in race.
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Tour de France 2010: Stage reports
Stage 10: Paulinho claims narrow stage victory on Bastille day
Stage nine: Casar wins stage as Schleck and Contador go head-to-head
Stage seven: Chavanel wins stage and takes overall as Thomas drops out of Tour’s white
Stage six: Cavendish makes it two as Tour hots up
Stage five: Cavendish wins his first stage of Tour
Stage four: Petacchi wins into Reims
Stage three: Hushovd takes dramatic win; Thomas second on stage and GC
Stage three live coverage: As it happened
Stage two: Comeback man Chavanel takes victory in Spa
Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters
Prologue: Cancellara pips Martin to win
Tour de France 2010: Photos
Stage 10 photo gallery
Stage nine photo gallery
Stage eight photo gallery
Tour 2010 wallpaper
Stage seven photo gallery
Stage six photo gallery
Stage five photo gallery
Stage four photo gallery
Stage three photo gallery
Stage two photo gallery
Stage one gallery
Prologue photo gallery
Tour de France 2010: Videos
Stage 10 video highlights
Stage nine video highlights
Stage eight video highlights
Stage seven video highlights
Stage six video highlights
Stage five video highlights
Stage four video highlights
Stage three video highlights
Stage two video highlights
Stage one video highlights
Prologue video highlights
Tour de France 2010: Race guide
Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index
Official start list, with race numbers
Brits at the Tour 2010
Tout team guide
Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins
Tour de France 2010: Pictures
Tour team presentation, Rotterdam
Tour teams take to the cobbles: Photo special