LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

ARENBERG, France (AP) - Defending champion Chris Froome has dropped out of the Tour de France after crashing in rainy, slick conditions in the fifth stage on Wednesday.

A day after hurting his wrist in a crash in the fourth stage, Froome fell again at around the halfway mark of the 152.5-kilometer (94.5-mile) route from the Belgian town of Ypres to Arenberg-Porte du Hainaut in France.

The Team Sky rider then climbed into a team car and left the race.

The withdrawal of the main pre-race favorite leaves the three-week cycling showcase wide open.

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali is wearing the leader's yellow jersey, but two-time champion Alberto Contador is only two seconds behind and could become the man to beat.

Read or Share this story: http://www.13wmaz.com/story/sports/professional/2014/07/09/tourdefrance-cycling-fromme/12422963/