BOURG-EN-BRESSE, France (AP) American rider Andrew Talansky withdrew from the Tour de France on Thursday a day after riding for several hours with excruciating back pain.
Talansky says he's ''absolutely heartbroken to leave the Tour de France'' because ''I built my season around the Tour and the team has supported me every step of the way.''
The 25-year-old Talansky finished last in Wednesday's 11th stage, more than 30 minutes behind winner Tony Gallopin, even getting off his bike at one stage, clutching his lower back and sitting down for a few minutes to ease the pain. He hoped a night's rest would resolve the problem ''but it proved to be too much.''
Team Garmin-Sharp doctor Kevin Sprouse added that ''Andrew is suffering the cumulative effects'' of crashes in consecutive stages last week.