American cyclist Tejay Van Garderen has officially withdrawn for Paris-Nice due to illness. The BMC Racing Team rider called it quits after just 80km. The 25-year old Van Garderen was expected to finish near the top after finishing fifth in 2012 and fourth in 2013.
This was Van Garderen’s first World Tour event of the season. It has been reported that he is suffering from a stomach virus.
“At night, I had all these stomach cramps, and bad diarrhea all day yesterday and then a little bit of a fever and no appetite,” he said. “It felt like my sickness was getting better and today, I woke up and I felt OK. But I was really just empty. I couldn’t take in calories and just had nothing in the muscles.”
The Chief Medical Officer of the BMC Racing Team, Dr. Max Testa, said despite the illness, Van Garderen wanted to ride. “But you can’t race without fuel,” Dr. Testa said. “I think the combination of dehydration and low glycogen in his muscles forced him to stop. Hopefully, he will recover in a couple days.”
Van Garderen’s racing schedule may be altered due to his withdrawal from Paris-Nice. The next scheduled race for Van Garderen is the Volta Ciclista a Catalunys in Spain March 24-30. No decision has been made as of yet.
Paris-Nice was Van Garderen’s first European race to the 2014 season. He had previously finished second at the Tour of Oman.