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Vuelta: Beloki may withdraw

Joseba Beloki is unlikely to start Saturday's 14th stage of the Vuelta a España, a source close to the Spaniard's ONCE team reported Friday. Beloki, who has placed third in the past two editions of the Tour de France and was a co-favorite for the Vuelta here, is thought to have a viral infection. ONCE team officials sent blood tests away for analysis on Wednesday afternoon and Friday's subsequent results indicated that Beloki had the start of a respiratory infection. Beloki was seen in tears on Tuesday as he struggled in the 12th stage in the Pyrenees while he was wearing the leader's

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Beloki in happier times

Beloki in happier times

Photo: Graham Watson

Joseba Beloki is unlikely to start Saturday’s 14th stage of the Vuelta a España, a source close to the Spaniard’s ONCE team reported Friday. Beloki, who has placed third in the past two editions of the Tour de France and was a co-favorite for the Vuelta here, is thought to have a viral infection.

ONCE team officials sent blood tests away for analysis on Wednesday afternoon and Friday’s subsequent results indicated that Beloki had the start of a respiratory infection.

Beloki was seen in tears on Tuesday as he struggled in the 12th stage in the Pyrenees while he was wearing the leader’s yellow jersey. He currently sits in 27th place overall at 20:55 behind race leader Oscar Sevilla.

Copyright, AFP2001