Another one "bites the dust" in this year’s Tour de France, as Rui Costa abandoned the race today – after battling respiratory problems for days.
After suffering from bronchitis for the last few days, the World Champion awoke during yesterday’s rest day, complaining of general weariness – worse than previous days.
As a result, Lampre’s team doctor, Dr. Beltemacchi, subjected the Portuguese rider to a number of tests and x-rays at a local clinic, which revealed the onset of bronchopneumonia.
The final decision to abandon the race was made this morning, when the symptoms persisted – even after a day of rest.
Costa wrote on his personal Facebook page that if he continued "besides endangering my health, I jeopardize my own career, so I made this decision: I will leave the Tour.
"I apologize to all of you friends, my team and the organization of the Tour de France, but my health does not allow me to continue," he added. A picture of Costa’s x-ray accompanied his message.
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