Cavendish pulls out of Tour de France
BERN, Switzerland (AP) British sprinter Mark Cavendish has withdrawn from the Tour de France in a bid to improve his medal chances at next month's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Team Dimension Data made the announcement Tuesday on the race's second and final rest day, with five stages remaining.
Cavendish has won four stages on this year's Tour and is preparing to race on the track at the Olympics, where he will be competing in the omnium event.
"After the heat and intensity of the previous stages, we analysed my fatigue levels and decided I'm at a point that would have a detrimental effect on my other big goal for the year, the Olympic Games," Cavendish said on the team's website.
"To leave a race and organisation that I hold so much respect for and a team that I have such a special bond with, has not been an easy decision at all."
Cavendish would have been a contender to win the final stage Sunday on the Champs-Elysees.
He wore the race leader's yellow jersey for the first time after winning the opening stage at Utah Beach, Normandy.
Updated July 19, 2016