BEIJING Germany's Stefan Schumacher pulled out of the men's Olympic road race on Saturday with about 55 km remaining in the 245-km race, saying he suffered from the pollution and heat and hoped to recover before the time trial.
Schumacher, one of the favorites in the men's distance event and for Wednesday's time-trial, left on the fifth of the seven 24-km laps on the difficult, hilly circuit between two sections of the Great Wall of China.
"It's very, very hard with the heat and the humidity," Schumacher said after leaving the course.
"I have a very, very strong headache. I suppose it's the pollution."
"Obviously I'm extremely disappointed."
Asked about the time trial on Wednesday, when the men will complete two laps of the same circuit they rode in Saturday's road race, Schumacher said he would try to recover.
"Wednesday is another day," he said. "I need to take a rest and hope I'll do better."
(Reporting by Francois Thomazeau, writing by Deborah Charles; editing by Miles Evans)