Danielson out of Vuelta

Illness ends podium hopes of Garmin-Slipstream rider

Tom Danielson withdrew from the Vuelta a España during the 187km stage 18 from Talavera de la Reina - Avila. Danielson pulled out with about 100km to go due to illness.

"I have a bad infection in my lungs. I've been fighting illness for the last six days, and I felt like I was in a good enough condition to fight it," said Danielson, who could barely get the words out to Cyclingnews over the telephone. "I was in really good form, but I had no choice today. I couldn't race."

"I've proved to a lot of people that I'm one of the best guys on the climbs and in the time trials," he said. "I'm obviously really upset. I thought I had a chance of winning or finishing on the podium," he said. "I'll go to hospital tonight and get checked out. I think I might have broken a rib in my crash yesterday."

The Garmin-Slipstream rider was involved in a crash with race favorites Robert Gesink (Rabobank) and Eziquiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) on stage 17 on Wednesday.

Danielson is scheduled to lead the US team in both the elite men's road race and time trial at the World Championships next week. There is no word yet on whether he will still compete.

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