Van Garderen pulls out of Tour de France

PRA LOUP: American Tejay van Garderen's Tour de France challenge came to a cruel end when the BMC Racing rider pulled out of the race due to illness during the 17th stage on Wednesday.

Van Garderen, who was third overall, visited the medical car several times and eventually stepped off his bike with about 73km of the stage left.

The Tour's medical services said Van Garderen, fifth overall in the 2012 and 2014 editions, was suffering from headaches.

He was three minutes and 32 seconds behind overall leader Chris Froome of Britain.

Van Garderen had enjoyed a fine build-up to the Tour, finishing a close runner-up to Team Sky's Froome in the Criterium du Dauphine last month.