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Tour of Ireland – Tummy troubles

Daniel Martin is sick, but he isn’t sweating it. Actually, he is sweating, quite a bit, as a fever works to burn out the remnants of food poisoning he picked up Sunday at the conclusion of the Tour of Portugal. But the young Irish national champion is continuing to race at the Tour of Ireland. Meanwhile, his teammate Magnus Bäckstedt continues to work through a stomach bug he picked up at the Giro d’Italia in May.

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By Ben Delaney

Not on top of his game: Martin is struggling.

Not on top of his game: Martin is struggling.

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Daniel Martin is sick, but he isn’t sweating it. Actually, he is sweating, quite a bit, as a fever works to burn out the remnants of food poisoning he picked up Sunday at the conclusion of the Tour of Portugal. But the young Irish national champion is continuing to race at the Tour of Ireland.

Meanwhile, his teammate Magnus Bäckstedt continues to work through a stomach bug he picked up at the Giro d’Italia in May.

Martin, the Irish national champion and therefore a much-touted rider for August 27-September 1 race, was off the back of the peloton talking to the race doctor early in the first stage. But he managed to finish, and even reported feeling better by the finish.

“The last 20, 30 K, I started to feel really good. Guys were starting to get dropped, and I was feeling better and better,” Martin said. “But I’ve never sweated so much in my life. My doctor said it’s my infection that’s coming out in sweat. I woke up last night in a pool. I was happy to get through today, because it was such a hard day.”

Martin said he’s looking forward to taking it easy through stages 2 and 3 before tackling the big climb of Connors Pass on stage 4 and St. Patrick’s Hill in Cork at the finale.

“I’m one of the best climbers here, easily, you saw that today,” he said.

Bäckstedt said he is growing frustrated with his ills that started back in May.

“I had the runs for six, seven days straight, blood in the stool and everything. I was in the fetal position for five days. I just managed to straighten up and walk on the plate. I got okay from it, I went to the States and started racing and training, but I never felt better on the bike. Every day I’m improving a little bit, but I’m very, very fragile.

“If I’m at all able to ride my bike, I want to get out there. It’s just not fun to watch the boys go off without me. After 13 years I still want to go race.”