Schleck out of Paris-Nice

2012-03-06 14:32

Vierzon - Luxembourg's Andy Schleck has withdrawn from the Paris-Nice cycling race after suffering from acute gastroenteritis, his Radioshack team said on Tuesday.

"Already yesterday (Monday) before the stage, Andy didn't feel good," said team director Alain Gallopin in a statement. "He was able to finish the stage but that cost a lot of energy.

"This morning Andy felt better but in the bus he got stomach problems and high temperature again. That's why we decided not to let him start."

Schleck, recently handed victory in the 2010 Tour de France after Alberto Contador's disqualification, was 12:01 down on leader Bradley Wiggins and in 155th position overall after Monday's second stage from Mantes-la-Jolie to Orleans.

On Tuesday, the third stage takes the riders 194km from Vierzon to Vassiviere.

Schleck said he was disappointed to have to pull out.

"I really wanted to try. But against sickness you cannot do a lot. I need to let my body recover from this. This is bad news. I wanted to perform well in Paris-Nice but I better not jeopardise the rest of the season."

Briton Bradley Wiggins leads the race by six seconds over American Levi Leipheimer.