Champery (Switzerland) (AFP) - British Tour de France hopeful Adam Yates pulled out of the Criterium du Dauphine sick on Sunday when still in with a great chance of victory.
Trailing by a mere eight seconds and with less than 50km to go on the eight-day event seen as a form gauge for the Tour de France, Yates was keeping pace with his chief rivals when he pulled out.
Mitchelton-Scott sports director Lorenzo Lapage told race organisers Yates had had a fever since this morning.
Saturday's penultimate stage was raced in an outright deluge and eight other riders pulled out overnight.
Yates, who wore the race leader's yellow jersey for four stages until Saturday, is due to lead his team at the Tour de France, possibly with his brother Simon as his right-hand man.
Astana's Jakob Fuglsang leads the race with a host of riders within a handful of seconds.