Originally Posted by spinsanity
its the tour, you never know what will happen. an event could happen that would take him out of contention, then the same thing could happen a day further down the tour and put him right back into contention. He'll stay in till the last, he has too much pride to quit.
Thats not really true. One bad day and you lose 20 minutes. A bad day for someone else and they lose 20 minutes. The problem is that both riders lost those 20 minutes to at least a dozen other riders (and perhaps over 100 other riders). Same for injury and the like.
But back to the topic. It is almost impossible to guess. There are so many things that can happen. If he is just off form he will very likely still hang fairly close. In that case he will stay, hoping to ride into form in time. But to the viewer it will look exactly the same if he has a 'minor' medical problem and that could put him in a position where he will abandon, knowing he is just getting worse.
Same for injury. It will depend a lot on how bad, chance to make it worse and if it is enough to take him out of contention perhaps on how teammates are placed, possible stage wins and even how close they are to Paris. (On the last I just can not picture Lance abandoning in the last couple of stages unlesss really hurt badly).