Freire was second in the sprinter's race

Updated: July 21, 2006, 9:55 AM ET
Reuters

MACON, France -- Oscar Freire of Spain has pulled out of the Tour de France, organizers said Friday.

The Rabobank rider, who won the fifth and ninth stages in this year's race, failed to start the 18th stage over 193 kilometers from Morzine to Macon.

Freire was second in the points classification for the best sprinter, 45 points behind Australia's Robbie McEwen.

Six-time green jersey winner Erik Zabel of Germany is now second, 80 points behind McEwen.