Aix en Provence - Belgian rider Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto), tipped as a candidate to
finish on the Tour de France podium, was forced to withdraw from the
race before Thursday's sixth stage.
His team confirmed that Van
den Broeck would not take part in the sixth stage from Aix-en-Provence
to Montpellier after suffering a knee injury when falling in a crash in
the final kilometre of Wednesday's ride into Marseille.
Van den Broeck, 30, has twice finished fourth on the Tour, in 2010 and 2012.
However, the Belgian was also forced to pull out of the 2011 Tour following a fall.
den Broeck's withdrawal follows that of Frenchman Maxime Bouet (AG2R),
who fractured a forearm in the same crash on Wednesday.