(Photos: Yuzuru Sunada)
Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel), Pavel Brutt (Katusha) and Wouter Poels of Vacansoleil quit the Tour de France during the ninth stage Sunday.
Txurruka was one of several riders to crash early in the stage and pulled out after just over an hour of racing in the 208 km stage from Issoire to Saint-Flour in the hilly Massif Central.
The Spaniard was soon followed by Brutt, the Russian national champion. Dutchman Poels, a 23-year-old who was making his debut, quit after an hour of racing.