Mark Cavendish pulls out of Tour de France

Mark Cavendish has opted to end his Tour de France prematurely to focus on his bid for the so-far elusive Olympic medal.

The 31-year-old's Team Dimension Data squad announced Cavendish will not resume the race in Tuesday's 17th stage, ending his participation on the second rest day.

The Isle of Man sprinter won four stages, including the first at Utah Beach, to take the yellow jersey for the first time in his career. His overall tally is now 30, second only to Eddy Merckx.

Mark Cavendish pulls out of Tour de France

However, Cavendish has opted to leave the Tour ahead of Sunday's conclusion in Paris to focus on his dream of omnium gold in Rio next month.

He said he took the decision "with great sadness" and added: "I'm at a point that would have a detrimental effect on my other big goal for the year, the Olympic Games."

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