Dumoulin too tired to continue

Cofidis' Samuel Dumoulin has decided not to start stage 12 of the Tour de France after being dropped when the peloton rode hard in the last 15km of yesterday's stage, making the decision to withdraw with Cofidis staff, who agreed with the diminuitive Frenchman's choice

French newspaper Le Progrès revealed that Dumoulin's decision was based on the fatigue he is currently suffering. "I was hoping to get better after the Alps, but it's the opposite, I haven't recovered, I've got no strength," he explained.

Ranked third amongst the international peloton in terms of stage wins this season (only André Greipel and Alberto Contador have done better), Dumoulin had started the 2010 season strongly with six wins: stage one of the Tropicale Amissa-Bongo, stage three and the general classification of the Etoile de Bessèges, the GP Insubria, stage six of the Volta Catalunya and stage three of the Circuit de la Sarthe.

"Maybe I made a mistake by taking a total break in April and May," said Dumoulin, who has accumulated 70 days of racing already this year. "Crashes have affected me as well at the Dauphiné and in the descent of [Côte de] Stockeu in stage two of the Tour.

"It's a succession of details that has made me so tired. It's hard to accept to have to stay passive at the Tour - I came here with higher ambitions. It's a difficult decision to take, especially because I've taken the spot of other riders who also deserved to be at the Tour," he added.

Cofidis' 10th man on the list of possible starters was Leonardo Duque. With the absence of the Colombian, this is the first Tour de France with no South American rider in 27 years. Dumoulin won stage three to Nantes in the Tour de France last year.

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