Alberto Contador has abandoned the Tour de France with around 100km of today's Stage 9 to Andorra-Arcalis remaining.
The Tinkoff rider, who has been struggling for the past week following two crashes on the opening weekend of the race in Normandy, had a fever as he started today's 184.5km stage from Vielha Val d'Aran in Spain.
Sean Yates, the team's sports director, told France Televisions during today's stage: “Alberto had a bit of fever this morning. He told us at the beginning of the race that he wasn't feeling super and it's obvious.
"We've told him to stay quiet. Now the peloton is going slower, which is better for his recovery after the fast start this morning.”
Contador, winner of the race in 2007 and 2009, seemed to ignore those orders to "stay quiet," going on the counter-attack early on to bridge across to a large breakaway group.
He was soon back in the main bunch, however, and then found himself at the rear of the peloton, dropping back to his team car several times before finally abandoning.
The Spaniard started today's stage in 20th place overall, 3 minutes 12 seconds behind race leader Chris Froome of Team Sky.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.