Complaining of a worsening cold and possible bronchitis, Lance Armstrong pulled out of the Tour de France one-third of the way into the rain-drenched sixth stage.
Stephane Heulot of France held his overall lead after Friday’s stage, which was won by Dutchman Michael Boogerd. Heulot has led for three days.
Armstrong, a U.S. Olympic cyclist, had fallen 2 minutes behind the main pack when he pulled out. He was 51st in the overall standings at the time.
“I think I’ve got bronchitis and even if the Olympics weren’t coming up, I’d still have abandoned because I’m feeling so bad,” said Armstrong, 24, who is given a shot at a gold medal in the Olympics road race July 31. “I don’t know what we’re going to do. We’ve got to find out what’s wrong first.”