Defending Milan-Sanremo champion Gerrans suffers setback in preparation for 2013 edition
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Friday, March 08, 2013

Defending Milan-Sanremo champion Gerrans suffers setback in preparation for 2013 edition

by Shane Stokes at 7:03 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Nice, Injury
 
Australian rider withdraws sick from Paris-Nice

Simon GerransSimon Gerrans’ prospects of defending his Milan-Sanremo title has taken a knock with the Australian forced to withdraw from Paris-Nice prior to the start of today’s fifth stage of the race.

According to Orica Greenedge team director Lionel Marie, he suffered from slight bronchitis since the start of the race.

Gerrans has had a much quieter start of the season than in 2012, when he won the Australian road race championships plus the Santos Tour Down Under prior to riding Paris-Nice and winning Milan-Sanremo.

This time round, he was ninth in the nationals road race and 24th overall in the Santos Tour Down Under; a solid workout in Paris-Nice was probably required for him to be ready for Milan-Sanremo, but instead he has just five days of relatively quiet competition to his credit in the race.

He was 44th in the opening prologue, then placed 74th, 147th, 115th and 140th in the stages since then.

According to director sportif Laurenzo Lapage, Gerrans didn’t feel right two days ago. “A lot of riders suffered today in the cold. Most of our riders dealt with the weather reasonably well,” he said then. “Simon Gerrans struggled a bit. No matter how he dressed, he was unable to get warm.”

Marie then explained the rider’s decision not to start today, saying that his ongoing bronchitis was the issue. “It didn't improve with the weather conditions we've had,” he stated. “He could hardly breathe this morning and it was not ideal in these conditions for him to go riding in the rain.”

Gerrans’ withdrawal will be disappointing for the team, but it is nevertheless performing well in the race. Michael Albasini won yesterday’s stage, while over in Italy Matt Goss made it a rare double when he triumphed on stage two of Tirreno-Adriatico.

It is not clear yet what Gerrans will do between now and Milan-Sanremo, but recovering from his illness will be his first priority.

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