Tejay van Garderen has to abandon Tour de France with illness on stage 17
American Tejay van Garderen withdrew from the Tour de France on Wednesday’s 17th stage when lying third overall, due to illness.
The 26-year-old BMC Racing team leader was three minutes and 32 seconds behind the Tour leader, Chris Froome (Team Sky), before the 161km from Digne-les-Bains to Pra Loup. But Van Garderen lost contact early on the first stage in the Alps and it soon became apparent all was not well. His BMC Racing team said he was suffering from headaches and Van Garderen abandoned midway through the stage.
The Tour finishes in Paris on Sunday and Van Garderen had been hoping to become the first American on the podium since Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his record seven victories and his third place in 2009 for doping.
Van Garderen departed to the team car in tears. His withdrawal was good news for Geraint Thomas, who was promoted to fifth place on the road behind Froome on the road to Pra Loup.
Reigning road cycling world champion Michal Kwiatkowki of Poland also abandoned with less than 50km of the stage remaining.