In his diary on the team's official site, Rabobank rider Bram De Groot has commented on the abandonment of teammate Mat Hayman during stage 11 of the Vuelta. "I'm really disappointed, because he's my friend and he helped Denis [Menchov] and team quite well over the past ten days," said De Groot. "He's a fantastic worker and a great colleague. We will miss him."
Hayman had difficulties while riding on Monday and had been feeling weak for a couple of days prior. The most likely cause of his illness was the heat, which has affected quite a number of riders in the peloton during this year's Vuelta campaign. Hayman tried sleeping with his mattress on the balcony, but the noise from the street made it impossible to sleep. After a few days it simply became too much.
De Groot praised the Australian's strength despite his illness, saying, "even when he seemed half dead, he wouldn't ride hanging on the car, unlike many other riders - he wanted to ride properly to help defend the leader's jersey." De Groot also had kind words for team leader and current Vuelta leader Menchov, "He's a really funny guy. He always says thanks when you bring him food and drink during a stage, even though it's really not necessary."