Bottom drops out for Freire

Oscar Freire abandoned the Tour de France before the start of stage seven in Bourg-en-Bresse after...

Oscar Freire abandoned the Tour de France before the start of stage seven in Bourg-en-Bresse after suffering all week from a recurring cyst on his underside. The painful cyst was being aggravated by the long days in the saddle, and with days before another chance at a stage win the Spaniard decided to quit and let the sore heal.

After coming close to a stage win on stages five and six and a tight third on stage four, Freire was sitting in the top three of the points classification and fifth overall - a strong showing that bodes well for the rest of the season as long as he can clear up the ongoing health issue. "Oscar is strongly improving, particularly his power and condition, but you can question the relevance of it when you see that his injury is not becoming less serious," said team leader Erik Breukink

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