07/12/2012 09:39 EDT | Updated 09/11/2012 05:12 EDT

Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara pulls out of Tour before 11th stage to be at birth of child

ALBERTVILLE, France - Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara has pulled out of the Tour de France to return home to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.

The four-time world time trial champion withdrew before Thursday's 11th stage, which takes the peloton on a 148-kilometre trek in the Alps from Albertville to the ski resort La Toussuire. It features two beyond classification climbs before a final 18-kilometre punishing ascent at an average gradient of 6.1 per cent.

Cancellara says "I am not only a bike rider, I am also a husband and father with another baby on the way."

The RadioShack rider will return to competition at the London Olympics at which he will try to defend his gold medal in the time trial.