Jelle Vanendert ruled out of Tour de France by parasitic infection
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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Jelle Vanendert ruled out of Tour de France by parasitic infection

by Ben Atkins at 4:31 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Critérium du Dauphiné, Injury
Key helper for Jurgen Van Den Broeck off the bike for ten days

jelle vanendertJelle Vanendert has been ruled out of Lotto-Belisol’s Tour de France team after having abandoned the Critérium du Dauphiné on Monday. The Belgian climber struggled in the opening stage, which started and finished in Champéry, eventually losing 14 minutes to stage winner David Veilleux (Europcar), and then abandoned the race midway through the rolling stage between Châtel and Oyonnax the following day.

At the time it was not known what was causing the 28-year-old’s loss of form, but tests on his return to Belgium have uncovered the problem.

“Tests have showed that a parasite has developed in Jelle’s intestines,” explained Lotto-Belisol team doctor Jan Mathieu. “The consequences of these parasite in Jelle’s body are tiredness and not being able to make full use of his capacities. After a period of rest the symptoms seem to be gone, but from the moment he has to exert himself, they return.

“Many people who have a parasite in their body never notice it,” Mathieu continued. “For a sportsman that’s different, they have consequences much easier. Because they spend much time outside, they are more susceptible for this phenomenon as well. Such a parasite can be formed after contact with contaminated water from puddles during their training rides or in races. Now we know the cause of his problems, we started an adequate antibiotics cure.”

Unfortunately for Vanendert, he will have to rest for ten days before resuming training, which means that he will be unable to rebuild his form in time for the start of the Tour de France on June 29th.

“Jelle and the sport and medical staff have decided not to participate in the Tour de France,” Lotto-Belisol team manager Marc Sergeant confirmed. “Most important in first instance is that he gets healthy again by resting and getting the right medication. Then we can work towards competition level through a specific training.

“A new programme will be drawn up with the Vuelta, the world championship and Lombardia as main goals,” Sergeant added. “We believe in the big capabilities of Jelle and are convinced he’ll serve the team in the final part of the season.”

Vanendert’s withdrawal from the Lotto-Belisol Tour de France team will be a blow to the ambitions of team leader Jurgen Van Den Broeck, who suffered in today’s fifth stage himself, and lost 9’59” to new race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky). The 30-year-old, who hopes to become the first Belgian in a generation to finish on the Tour podium, was overtaken in the standings by teammate Bart De Clercq and - like Vanendert - faces a search to find an explanation for his loss of form.


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