ROUEN, FRANCE, JULY 4 -- While Canada's Steve Bauer remained the overall leader after the fifth stage of the Tour de France, one of his chief pursuers, Frenchman Laurent Fignon, dropped out.

Bauer managed to keep his lead after the rain-soaked longest stage of the three-week race, 187 miles from Avranches through northern France. Dutch rider Gerrit Solleveld won the fifth leg by more than four minutes over Belgium's Johan Museeuw, in 7 hours 43 minutes 7 seconds. Bauer again finished back in the pack, but still has a 30-second overall lead on Ronan Pensec of France; Frans Maassen of the Netherlands is third, 33 seconds back.

Defending champion Greg LeMond is more than 10 minutes off the lead.

The fifth stage, over a moderately flat route, became interesting at the 77-mile mark, when a number of riders fell, holding back a larger group that included Fignon.

After a refreshment break, Fignon slowed, turned and rode against the pack, looking for his team car. He dismounted and got in the car, officially quitting the race for the third time in five years after winning in 1983 and 1984.

"It's been a bad year," Cyrille Guimard, director of Fignon's Castorama team, said. "He's cursed."

Fignon was hurt in a bad fall during the Tour of Italy in May. His luck since the start of the Tour de France hasn't been much better: On Monday, he had a flat tire and a minor fall; on Tuesday, he was stopped by a fall of others that made him lose 44 seconds to the pack, dropping him to 47th place, more than 11 minutes behind Bauer.

Before today's stage, he complained of a strained right calf.

"The pain was increasing," Guimard said. "It was impossible to continue and wait for the transfer day {Thursday} that might have enabled him to recover."

Fignon declined to be interviewed.

"The fact that he was never in front was an indication that he wasn't in good condition," said LeMond, who beat Fignon by eight seconds in a dramatic come-from-behind win in 1989. "Anybody who wants to race and win has to be in the first 30."

LeMond believes last year's loss may have contributed to Fignon's problems.

"I believe that he felt he had a lot of pressure," LeMond said. "Fignon was kind of in a no-win stuation. Everything or nothing. He had to win this year because everyone was saying he he could have won last year. To not succeed would be even worse for him."

Thursday will be an off day; Friday's sixth stage begins in eastern France, a 128-mile leg from Sarrebourg to Vittel.