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Kloeden drops out of Tour de France

Updated: July 15, 2011, 08:50


Three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador of Spain, left, waits to take the start of the 13th stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 152.2 kilometers (94.6 miles) starting in Pau and finishing in Lourdes, Pyrenees region, France, Friday July 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

LOURDES, France (AP) Veteran German rider Andreas Kloeden has pulled out of the Tour de France early into the 13th stage, becoming the fourth RadioShack rider to leave the race.

Kloeden hurt his back after crashing earlier in the race, and he then banged his right elbow in a fall on Thursday.

The 36-year-old German pulled over onto the side of the road about 40 minutes into the 95-mile route from Pau to Lourdes in the Pyrenees. He was slowly riding and struggling before deciding to quit.

Yaroslav Popovych, Janez Brajkovic and Chris Horner had to leave the race after crashes.

The 36-year-old Kloeden had been the designated team leader. His withdrawal means American Levi Leipheimer takes over as RadioShack's leader. Leipheimer was third overall on the 2007 Tour.

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