Lance Armstrong, the youngest rider to win a Tour de France stage, withdrew from this year's race Friday, while Miguel Indurain of Spain retained the overall lead.
Armstrong, 21, of Plano, Texas, pulled out before the 12th stage, a 179-mile leg from Isola 2000 to Marseille, the longest stage in this year's event.Fabio Roscioli of Italy won the stage as the riders came down from two days in the Alps.
During the two days in the mountains, Armstrong fell 55 minutes behind. Afterward, he and the Motorola coaches decided not to continue.
"He was tired," Jim Ochowitz, the Motorola team manager, said. "We met all our goals and we have to think about the future. He has a super future. He had 12 hard days in the Tour de France."
Ochowitz said that Armstrong's next race will be in Spain, in the Tour of Burgos, July 31-Aug. 5.
Armstrong won the eighth stage of the Tour de France.
"He won in true classic style," Ochowitz said. "He took it with a major attack on the final hill with a group of seasoned professionals."
Meanwhile, Indurain easily retained the leader's yellow jersey as the Tour began three days across southern France.
Roscioli took the stage lead with more than 112 miles to go and finished more than seven minutes ahead of Italy's Massimo Ghirotto and Ukraine's Vladimir Poulnikov.
Indurain and many of the other favorites were in the main pack, more than 20 minutes behind.
Roscioli was no threat to Indurain overall, being more than an hour behind in the standings.
The Tour ends July 25 at Paris.