Cancellara announces Tour withdrawal to focus on Olympics


Fabian Cancellara has announced his withdrawal from the Tour de France as the Swiss switches focus to the Olympics.

The 35-year-old was part of a Trek-Segafredo team whose lead rider, Bauke Mollema, is the nearest rival to general classification leader Chris Froome.

Cancellara is scheduled to compete in the time trial in Rio, which takes place on August 10, having won the event at Beijing 2008 before being ruled out of the London Games through injury.

"This was not an easy decision to take, but I feel it is the right one," he said in a statement.

"I don't like withdrawing from a race, especially not when our GC leader is in second place at four days from Paris.

"With some really hard stages ahead of us my support would naturally be more limited so we took the decision together to withdraw. It was a hard Tour for me: a lot of stress and I feel tired. If I want to be good at the Olympics I need rest.

"I wish the team, and Bauke in particular, a fantastic last four stages. I will be following the action from home."

Following Wednesday's 17th stage, Cancellara's team-mate Mollema was two minutes and 27 seconds behind reigning champion Froome.