Matthews abandons the Tour due to illness
Illness has forced 2017 Points Classification champion Michael Matthews to withdraw from the Tour de France ahead of stage five.
On Wednesday, Team Sunweb confirmed the Australian had abandoned the race ahead of the start in Lorient after falling unwell overnight.
His departure will also damage Tom Dumoulin's general classification hopes, with Matthews seen as the Dutchman's key lieutenant in France.
"Unfortunately Michael got sick, he has been vomiting and as the [day] progressed he has become more ill," said team physician Mannes Naeff.
Matthews added: "I'm really disappointed to not start [stage five].
"I've been really ill and tried all I could to make it to the start line but, feeling like this, it's simply not possible. I will now go home to recover and will continue cheering for the guys from there."
Bad news for @TeamSunweb : one of the favourites of today's stage, @blingmatthews , won't start today due to illness.-- Le Tour de France (@LeTour) July 11, 2018
Mauvaise nouvelle pour @TeamSunweb : l'un des favoris du jour, Michael Matthews, est malade et ne prendra pas le départ. #TDF2018 pic.twitter.com/iOGjv1Q7hI