Britain’s Charly Wegelius has pulled out of the Tour de France after suffering two tough days in the Alps. The Omega Pharma-Lotto rider did not start today’s 11th stage from Sisteron to Bourg-les-Valence.

Although the climber had enjoyed an “on-par” day on Sunday’s stage to Avoriaz, he suffered on Tuesday’s epic to St-Jean-de-Maurienne – finishing over 34 minutes back, in the same group as Mark Cavendish and Robbie McEwen.

“It was quite horrendous really,” he told Cycling Weekly before yesterday’s stage start in Chambery. “I was just going backwards all day. Even when I was with the sprinters group – and with all respect to them – I was struggling to keep up. Even if you’re modest about my talents, it’s not really where I’m supposed to be.

“I hope it’s just one bad day for whatever reason,” he added. “I’m not sick… I don’t think.”

But on yesterday’s lumpy stage into Gap, Wegelius wasn’t feeling any better. Although he was able to finish with the second bunch and was lying in 108th place overall, the decision was made to pull-out.

“Since the rest day I’ve not been able to get food to stick to me,” a now decidedly ill looking Wegelius told Cycling Weekly at today’s stage start. “I think I might have a bit of a fever too.”

Sat on the steps of his team bus in non racing gear, Wegelius said he was due to return home tomorrow but, having quit the race, wasn’t sure he would be able to bear watching it on TV.

Nonetheless, he said he has every confidence that team mate Jurgen Van Den Broeck could maintain his high place overall.

“I can’t see any reason why he couldn’t stick with those guys,” he said.

Wegelius is the only British rider to withdraw from the 2010 Tour so far, leaving seven Brits still in race.

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Tour de France 2010: Stage reports

Stage 10: Paulinho claims narrow stage victory on Bastille day

Stage nine: Casar wins stage as Schleck and Contador go head-to-head

Stage seven: Chavanel wins stage and takes overall as Thomas drops out of Tour’s white

Stage six: Cavendish makes it two as Tour hots up

Stage five: Cavendish wins his first stage of Tour

Stage four: Petacchi wins into Reims

Stage three: Hushovd takes dramatic win; Thomas second on stage and GC

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Stage two: Comeback man Chavanel takes victory in Spa

Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters

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Tour de France 2010: Photos

Stage 10 photo gallery

Stage nine photo gallery

Stage eight photo gallery

Tour 2010 wallpaper

Stage seven photo gallery

Stage six photo gallery

Stage five photo gallery

Stage four photo gallery

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one gallery

Prologue photo gallery

Tour de France 2010: Videos

Stage 10 video highlights

Stage nine video highlights

Stage eight video highlights

Stage seven video highlights

Stage six video highlights

Stage five video highlights

Stage four video highlights

Stage three video highlights

Stage two video highlights

Stage one video highlights

Prologue video highlights

Tour de France 2010: Race guide

Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Official start list, with race numbers

Brits at the Tour 2010

Tout team guide

Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins

Tour de France 2010: Pictures

Tour team presentation, Rotterdam

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  • Brian

    Big loss for Omega Pharma indeed. Wegelius would have been a precious support to young Jurgen Van Den Broeck in the Pyrenees.

  • Rudy rudy

    Real shame for Charly, and a big loss for Omega Pharma. This is turning in to one tough Tour.