Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara pulled out of the Tour de France before the 11th stage on to be with his expectant wife.
Cancellara wore the yellow jersey for a week after winning the opening prologue on June 30, but with his wife expecting to give birth in the coming days the Swiss decided to end his campaign early.
"The decision to go back home is harder than you might expect," said Cancellara in a RadioShack team statement on Thursday.
"I am not only a bike rider," added the Swiss, a former four-time world champion and reigning Olympic champion in the time trial.
"I am also a husband and father with another baby on the way. It is my personal wish to be present when my wife Stefanie gives birth to our second child.
"That 'trophy' is more important than another Tour stage win or an Olympic medal. I already need to thank my wife for her patience with me during the last month in her pregnancy that has been difficult at times.
"The least I can do is to assist her in these difficult days."
Leaving the Tour early may also help Cancellara focus on the upcoming defence of his Olympic title. The time trial at the London Games will be held August 1.
Di Gregorio faces dope charges
Meanwhile, Cancellara’s fellow Tour de France cyclist Remy di Gregorio is facing charges of being in possession of unauthorised medical equipment following his arrest this week, a French magistrate said on Thursday.
The equipment concerned was a glucose injection kit, which requires prior medical justification during competition, Marseille magistrate Jacques Dallest said.
Di Gregorio, who has been suspended by his Cofidis team following his arrest on Tuesday and has dropped out of the Tour de France, admits receiving injections, but denies any charges of doping.
The 26-year-old French cyclist was arrested following a police raid at his team's hotel in Bourg-en-Bresse outside Macon in eastern France on Tuesday as part of an investigation into the organised trafficking of doping substances.
He was taken to Marseille for further questioning by investigating magistrate Annaick Le Goff, along with two other men, who were suspected of "having dealings" with Di Gregorio.
One of the two other men was released on Wednesday, but a 75-year-old man remained in custody along with Di Gregorio and he is facing charges of "using banned substances or procedures on a sportsman" and "the illegal practice of medicine."
At least four injections were carried out on Di Gregorio between the end of May and the end of June, Dallest said.
Dallest said other people would be questioned as part of the ongoing investigation but it was not a case of everyone at Cofidis being called into question.