Intestinal problems forced Tejay van Garderen of the BMC Racing Team to withdraw from Paris-Nice about 80 kilometers into Sunday’s opening stage.
‘Was Really Just Empty’
Van Garderen said he may have picked up a stomach bug on his flight from Nice to Paris on Friday. “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.” BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said despite the illness, van Garderen was motivated to compete in the race he finished fourth in last year. “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.” BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said van Garderen’s racing program may be adjusted to compensate for the lost days of competition. The next race on van Garderen’s program is Volta Ciclista a Catalunya in Spain, March 24-30.