VAIL, Colo. (VN) — Tom Danielson met his match, or perhaps his bug, Thursday in Vail when an overnight bout with food poisoning cut into what he had hoped would be a stage win and leader’s jersey celebration. Danielson (Garmin-Cervélo) lost 33 seconds to Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) and Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Cervélo) in the 10-mile uphill time trial that suited each of them perfectly.
“It was such a hard day for me,” said Danielson. “I caught a stomach bug last night and was ill all night. I got only a couple hours of sleep.”
Danielson wrote on Twitter Thursday morning that it was a “rough night for me battling food poisoning. Hope I can start this afternoon. what a bummer.”
The Boulder, Colorado-based GC favorite was able to make his start. And in the end, he gutted out a decent ride, given the circumstances, and lost just half-a-minute to Leipheimer. In fact, Danielson took 18 seconds on previous leader Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad), who had a bad day at an inopportune moment.
“I was determined to start — this race is so important to me and the team, so I had to take the start house,” said Danielson. “I went out there and did the best I could.”
Danielson left the stage in fourth overall, 21 seconds down on Leipheimer in a re-shaped overall classification. Ahead of him are Vande Velde in second at 11 seconds and Van Garderen at 17 seconds.
There was no word from the team Thursday as to whether Danielson will start Friday’s stage in Avon.