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Hushovd fighting through Paris-Nice with bad stomach

RODEZ, France (VN) — One rider missing from the mix in stages that would typically see him fighting for the win this week at Paris-Nice is BMC Racing’s Thor Hushovd.

Hushovd told VeloNews on Wednesday morning that his crook stomach should not impair his performances in the upcoming classics.

“I had a bad stomach after the prologue,” Hushovd said Wednesday morning at the start of fourth stage of Paris-Nice. “It’s not ideal before Milan-San Remo, but I am feeling better.”

Like other riders in the opening days of Paris-Nice, Hushvod has been struggling with a bad stomach. BMC teammate Taylor Phinney went home Wednesday while Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) pulled out Tuesday with a similar ailment.

Hushovd missed the key breakaway Monday that saw Phinney and Tejay van Garderen make the elite, 21-rider group in what was a scenario ideal for his characteristics.

It was a similar story Tuesday, with the uphill finale won by Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), when Hushovd, typically strong in those kinds of stages, was nowhere to be seen.

The same scene replayed Wednesday, when he lost contact with the bunch in the closing 20km to the line to Rodez.

Hushovd said he’s hoping to push through the remainder of Paris-Nice despite the stomach problems.

“I am feeling better and I hope to make it to Nice,” Hushovd said. “I am getting ready for Milan-San Remo and our big goals for the spring. I think I will be ready.”

Hushovd and BMC teammate Philippe Gilbert, racing this week at TIrreno-Adriatico, will be among the top favorites for victory at Milan-San Remo, the first monument of the year, on March 17.