Tim Wellens will not start the fourteenth Giro d’Italia stage today, his Lotto-Soudal team has announced. The Belgian – who won the fourth stage – has been suffering from a sore throat and the first signs of a bronchitis in the past few days, and he had a fever after yesterday’s stage.

Tim Wellens: “It’s never fun to abandon a Grand Tour. Thanks to my stage win I can say my Giro has been a success, but I would have loved to aim for a second victory. The past days I had a go, but I could not take enough advantage.

“Already after the move from Israel to Sicily I felt as if I couldn’t catch up on sleep and that didn’t improve with the move to the mainland. You notice the tiredness in the peloton, and the battle among the GC riders still has to really begin. I will take some days of rest and hope to resume training afterwards.”

Doctor Steven Bex: “Tim had a fever, which means it’s no option to let him continue racing. The past days his body was already fighting against laryngitis and bronchitis, which is a logical consequence of the tiredness. The Giro has been exhausting for all riders, because of the travelling, the long transports and stages, which ask the maximum of the riders every day. Also the in theory easier stages turned out to be tough.

“Tim is someone who wants to seize opportunities every day and he isn’t cut out to hide in the bunch. He now has to recover and then he can focus on new goals.”


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