World Champion Rui Costa Withdraws From Tour de France

CARCASSONNE, France, July 22, 2014 (AFP) – World champion Rui Costa of
Portugal withdrew from the Tour de France on Tuesday due to pneumonia, his
Lampre-Merida team said in a statement.

Costa had been 13th in the standings at almost 13 minutes behind race
leader Vincenzo Nibali.

His team said he’d been struggling with bronchitis in the Alps before
Monday’s rest day.

Lampre said: “(Costa) was forced to retire after an X-ray examination,
carried out during the rest day at a clinic in Pezenas, showed an outbreak of

The 27-year-old had come into the race hoping to secure a high finish,
having ridden as a domestique (support rider) for Alejandro Valverde at
Movistar last year.

But he had been struggling to keep pace with the top riders for several