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“Our whole team is either down with the flu or food poisoning, and it’s really shown over the past week in the racing. Other teams have similar problems, but it doesn’t seem as bad as we have it.”

Photo: Cannondale Pro Cycling

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03.04.2016 @ 11:51 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Cannondale may not be the only team who have suffered from illness in the build-up to the Classsics, but they certainly have suffered the worst.

 

“Our whole team is either down with the flu or food poisoning, and it’s really shown over the past week in the racing,” Cannondale’s Jack Bauer told VeloNews ahead of stage 2 at Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde. “Other teams have similar problems, but it doesn’t seem as bad as we have it.”

 

It is believed that the bad weather that caused a stage in both Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico to be cancelled has casued many names, like Kristoff, Stannard and Van Avermaet to miss big Classics this spring. The same can be said for the Cannondale guys.

“Breschel has been one of the worst guys hit on the team. He just can’t pedal, and he was going to be one of our top guys for the classics,” said Bauer, shaking his head in disbelief. “We are struggling to get one person across the line in the front group. At Gent-Wevelgem, we couldn’t get anyone across the finish line. It’s disappointing, but it’s a bad season for illness.”

 

Bauer explains that he was also not exempt from illness and it has held him back in his preparations for the biggest one-day races of the year.

 

"I finished Tirreno in good shape, but I spent the next 10 days in my bed with the worst flu I ever had in my life,” Bauer continued. “I couldn’t train, or ride the bike, and the next race I did was Wevelgem. That was a bit rough. All we can do as get as many hard days as we can before Flanders,” Bauer said. “It’s impossible to go into these big races on the back foot. You cannot hide in Flanders, or any of these races in Belgium. First, with positioning, and with Flanders, of course, with the climbs. There is no surprise winner. The strongest wins, and when you’re sick, you’re not strong.”

 

Dylan Van Baarle is one rider who hasn’t got sick and he is the man who is expected to lead the team in Flanders today, according to DS Eric Van Lancker.

 

“It’s bad, and we have so many sick riders right now. We’ve also had some crashes,” Van Lancker said. “That’s what happens sometimes. They’re skinny, and it goes quickly around the peloton. Every team is having some problems. The good news for us is that Sebastian is better now, and he will start on Sunday, so we’ll see what kind of job he can do. Matti is also getting better, and Dylan is OK. Let’s hope it keeps that way until Sunday.”

 

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