Andy Schleck abandons Paris-Nice with stomach ailment

The RadioShack-Nissan rider is suffering from acute gastroenteritis

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VIERZON, France (VN) — Andy Schleck did not take the start of Tuesday’s third stage at Paris-Nice after succumbing to what RadioShack-Nissan team officials said was “acute gastroenteritis.”

“I really wanted to try, but against sickness, you cannot do a lot,” Schleck said in a team release. “I need to let my body recover from this. This is bad news. I wanted to perform well at Paris-Nice, but I better not jeopardize the rest of my season. My goals are situated later in the season.”

The younger of the Schleck brothers struggled through the opening two stages of the “Race to the Sun,” ceding more than a minute in Sunday’s 9.4km individual time trial. Schleck managed to finish Monday’s brawler of a stage, but missed an elite group of 21 riders that pulled clear to turn the GC upside down.

“Already yesterday before the stage, Andy didn’t feel well,” said RadioShack sport director Alain Gallopin. “He was able to the finish the stage, but that cost him a lot of energy. This morning, Andy felt better, but in the bus, he got stomach problems and high temperatures again. That’s why we decided not to let him take the start, while not being healthy.

Frank Schleck and Andreas Klöden, a winner in 2000, also missed Monday’s decisive breakaway, meaning that RadioShack will rally around Maxime Monfort for the remainder of the week.

Monfort is poised sixth overall at 16 seconds behind race leader Bradley Wiggins (Sky) going into Tuesday’s third stage.