Saturday March 2, 2013
Food poisoning forces riders to pull out from Stage Nine
KUALA BERANG: Stage Nine of the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) from Pasir Putih to Kuala Berang yesterday was hit by food poisoning, forcing a spate of withdrawals and non-finishes.
Orica GreenEdge riders Wesley Sulzberger and Luke Durbridge, the Australian national champion, were confirmed to have suffered from food poisoning by team officials and did not start the race yesterday.
Others who didn’t start yesterday included Caleb Fairley (Garmin-Sharp), John Murphy (UnitedHealthcare), Cyril Gautier (Europcar) and Takeaki Ayabe (Aisan Racing).
Steele Von Hoff of Garmin, Stage Six winner Thomas Leezer (Blanco) and Jos Van Emden (Blanco) failed to complete the race.
After finishing Stage Eight from Kuala Terengganu to Tanah Merah on Thursday, the teams spent the night in Kota Baru.
Among those affected but still finished the race yesterday were Sergio Pardilla of MTN Qhubeka, who is third in the overall standings and points classification leader Andrea Guardini of Astana.
MTN Qhubeka sports director Kevin Campbell said Pardilla was lucky to get through the stage.
“Today was probably the worse for him ... we’re glad he finished the stage without any problems,” he said.
Italian sprinter Guardini, meanwhile, did not feature in the bunch sprint and finished 1:16 behind winner Bryan Coquard of Europcar.
“I had trouble sleeping last night because of my stomach problem. I was lucky I made it through today and I hope I’ll be at my best again tomorrow (today),” said Guardini.