Froome out of Dauphine through illness

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Former Tour de France winner Chris Froome pulled out of the penultimate stage of the Criterium du Dauphin due to illness, his Israel Premier Tech team said on Saturday.

Froome, 37, last won the Tour in 2017 and suffered serious injuries during the 2019 Dauphine.

This year's Tour begins on July 1 in Copenhagen but the Briton's entry in the race has yet to been confirmed.

"I was looking forward to the final two stages of the Dauphine but I haven't been feeling 100 percent," Briton Froome said in a team statement.

"It's disappointing to leave the race unfinished but I've been progressing well and don't want to set myself back at this important stage of the season," he added.

Before Saturday's mountainous seventh stage, Jumbo Visma's Belgian Wout van Aert leads the Dauphine, 1min 03sec ahead of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's Italian Mattia Cattaneo in second.

Froome was in 76th place, more than 11 minutes behind Van Aert ahead of his withdrawal.

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