Lance Armstrong did not start the second stage of the Circuit Sarthe – Pays de la Loire (France). Lance came down with a viral intestinal infection after the conclusion of Stage 1. He will return to the US as soon as his condition allows.
Many riders from different teams caught the virus last week in Flanders. Five of the eight Team RadioShack riders who competed in Flanders have been hit by the bug. In addition to Armstrong, Geoffroy Lequatre, Dmitriy Muravyev, Gregory Rast and Sébastien Rosseler have shown symptoms of illness. According to the team, manager Johan Bruyneel and a soigneur are affected.
“This is not the right moment, but it is never a good moment”, commented Team Director Alain Gallopin. “Though we have only four riders left in this race, we will try to win a stage. Tiago Machado and Yaroslav Popovych are in good shape. Let’s hope Popo will not get sick. He too was in Flanders last week. As far as Lance Armstrong is concerned, maybe we will have to change his program again. That’s work for the coming days. Lance was really keen on performing well, especially in the time trial of Wednesday afternoon. He showed his growing condition in the Tour of Flanders, where he came in with the first group sprinting for the fifth place.”
Lance on Twitter: “Well, I’m alive. Barely it feels like. That was the roughest stomach virus I’ve ever had. Tough night. Thx for all the support.”
It was Lance’s fourth participation in the event following his appearances in 1999, 2001 and 2003.