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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 July, 2004, 11:19 GMT 12:19 UK
Hamilton out of Tour
Tyler Hamilton
American Tyler Hamilton has pulled out of the Tour de France because of an on-going back injury.

The 33-year-old had been one of the favourites to win the race before picking up the injury in an earlier fall during one of the flat stages.

He struggled to keep pace with Lance Armstrong during Friday's stage and on Saturday finally decided to retire.

"I'm still not 100% since the crash last week. The legs are just not turning right," said Hamilton.

In his absence, his Phonak team's ambitions look set to be headed by Santos Gonzalez, who is ninth overall.

Hamilton had won major plaudits at last year's race after finishing fourth despite breaking his collarbone in a crash on the opening stage.

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