July 12, 2012

ALBERTVILLE, France (AP) -- Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara has pulled out of the Tour de France to return home to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.

The four-time world time trial champion withdrew before Thursday's 11th stage, which takes the peloton on a 148-kilometer trek in the Alps from Albertville to the ski resort La Toussuire. It features two beyond classification climbs before a final 18-kilometer punishing ascent at an average gradient of 6.1 percent.

"I am not only a bike rider, I am also a husband and father with another baby on the way," Cancellara said.

The RadioShack rider will return to competition at the London Olympics and will try to defend his gold medal in the time trial.

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