By Shane Stokes
Irish rider Daniel Martin was disappointed to withdraw from Paris-Nice prior to the start of stage three due to illness, but appreciates the way Garmin-Slipstream handled the decision.
"This team is so supportive," he told Cyclingnews. "They made it easy to make the right decision of not starting. Left up to me I probably would have started, but just like when I was ill at the Tour of Ireland last year, I would have regretted it."
Martin came into the race hoping to ride strongly, but lost a lot of time on stage two. "I don't know what's wrong," he said on Tuesday. "I just had no legs yesterday and no energy at all this morning. There's some kind of virus floating round my body, I think. I've been on/off since the training camp in January and I guess I just hit a real off-day yesterday."
He's able to take a pragmatic view of things, realising that pushing on would have done little for his health. "I am just going to get myself right and go from there. I have to think about the big picture... it's a long year. Paris-Nice is not a race you can do when at 50 percent, so it's best to step back and get back to 100%."
His team-mate Trent Lowe also suffered on Monday but was able to complete Tuesday's stage.