Tuesday, July 20, 2004
UPDATE 1-Cycling-Tour-Exhausted Mayo throws in the towel
By Francois Thomazeau
VALREAS, France, July 20 - Spain's exhausted Iban
Mayo pulled out of the Tour de France before the start of the
gruelling 15th stage on Tuesday.
"We knew he wouldn't finish the stage today, so we decided
it was better for him not to start," said Euskaltel general
manager Miguel Madariaga.
He added that Mayo, a specialist climber and considered as
one of Lance Armstrong's main rivals before the start of the
Tour, had "no strength left" and said he could be suffering from
Tuesday's 180.5km run between Valreas and Villard-de-Lans
sees the peloton tackle the first stage in the Alps.
Mayo had beaten Armstrong to win the eight-day Dauphine
Libere event in June but his Tour hopes took a major blow as
early as the third stage when he was involved in a pile-up which
cost him almost four minutes.
Armstrong, on course to win a record sixth Tour de France,
then crushed him by a massive 37 minutes and 40 seconds when the
American won the 13th stage.