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Former Tour de France champion Andy Schleck dropped out of the Tour of Mediterranean on Wednesday, without completing the first stage.
"He was in difficulty during the descent at the Fourches climb," said a the race commissioner about Schleck, who had started to struggle at the 44km mark of the 146.5km run from Limoux to Gruissan.
The pull-out is yet another setback for the 27-year-old 2010 Tour de France winner who dropped out of the season-opening Tour Down Under in the final stage and has been hit by a spate of injuries that meant he failed to start the 2012 Tour de France.
Germany's Andre Greipel leads the five-day race after winning the first stage in a sprint finish.