Stomach problems force Wiggins out of Volta Ciclista a Catalunya
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Monday, March 22, 2010

Stomach problems force Wiggins out of Volta Ciclista a Catalunya

by VeloNation Press at 7:46 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Volta a Catalunya
 

British Tour de France hope Bradley Wiggins has been forced to withdraw from the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya due to illness, and consequently will lose out on the chance to chase his first win of the year in today’s prologue.

The race against the clock in Lloret de Mar is 3.6 kilometres in length and with Wiggins being the Olympic champion for the 4000 metre individual pursuit, he would have been one of the big favourites to take the race lead.

Earlier this month he was third overall in the Vuelta a Murcia, placing second and third in the time trials, and has been working hard since then.

"Unfortunately, Bradley wasn't able to race in Spain this week, but we're going to assess the situation quickly and adjust his race programme so that nothing is jeopardised," said Team Sky's team principal Dave Brailsford.

Wiggins has been ill for several days with a stomach infection and has not been able to train. Brailsford expects he will be back in action shortly. "He has already proven this year that he is well on his way form-wise so we'll be able to get him back into our race programme fairly easy.

"It's not uncommon that riders have to struggle with illness at this part of the season, but luckily Bradley has already been able to build up a lot form, so this won't be a setback."

His place will be taken by Serge Pauwels, who will join John Lee Augustyn, Dario Cioni, Chris Froome, Steve Cummings and Davide Vigano.

Providing he recovers in time, one option would be for Wiggins to instead ride Critérium International next weekend. Pauwels had been scheduled to start the event so a place has now been freed up on the team.

If he opts to do this, he will square up against Alberto Contador (Astana) and Lance Armstrong (RadioShack), two of the three riders who finished ahead of him in last year’s Tour de France. It would give him an insight into their current form. He’d also have a time trial and mountain stage to test his own condition.

At the moment, Team Sky lists Sylvain Calzati, Kjell Carlstrom, Russell Downing, Simon Gerrans, Thomas Lofkvist and Lars-Petter Nordhaug as likely to take part in that event.

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