VAIL, Colo. (VN) – It was gastroenteritis, not food poisoning, that flattened Tom Danielson going into Thursday’s Vail time trial, according to the Garmin-Cervélo team doctor.
Waking at a little past midnight Thursday morning, Danielson, then third overall at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, spent much of the morning dealing with symptoms of the stomach bug and started the afternoon’s 10-mile uphill time trial in a weakened state.
“Tom was up all night suffering from gastroenteritis,” said team doctor Kevin Sprouse. “We treated his symptoms and spent the early morning getting him comfortable to the point so that he could rest and keep food down.”
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.”
He said after the stage that he “was determined to start. This race is so important to me and the team, so I had to take the start house.
“I went out there and did the best I could.”
Gastroenteritis is a catchall diagnosis for general stomach illness. Danielson lost just 33 seconds to stage winner Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) and Christian Vande Velde (Garmin), and enters Friday’s fourth stage in fourth overall, 21 seconds in arrears.
“Tom was determined to take the start so we monitored him, with his health as our first priority, and he was able to,” said Sprouse. “Gastroenteritis is generally viral, but can be bacterial. We’re rarely able to determine the cause, the best we can do is treat the symptoms and let the body heal, which is what we did.”