Intestinal virus knocks Eisel out of Vuelta and possibly Worlds

Austrian won't ride in Melbourne without adequate preparation

The intestinal virus that forced Bernhard Eisel of HTC-Columbia out of the Vuelta a España may also take him out of this year's world championships. The Austrian rider said that it might now be too difficult to get into shape for the road race in Melbourne the beginning of October.

“Going to the Worlds without racing, that doesn't make any sense,” Eisel told the APA news agency.

Eisel, 29, abandoned early in the fourth stage of the Vuelta, suffering from diarrhoea, vomiting and fever. Now home again in Graz, Austria, he said that “in the meantime I feel a lot better. But it is difficult to cope with mentally, that the Worlds are now so far away for me.”

The Austrian, who has recently renewed his contract with HTC-Columbia for two more years, was at the Vuelta to help Mark Cavendish in the sprints. “My form was not bad and for sure we could have done well,” he said. But staying in the race “would have made everything worse.”

Eisel's concern over riding the worlds with inadequate preparation is about letting down his national  team as much about himself. “It's difficult. Without good form, I won't go to the Worlds. I don't want to do that to myself, and especially not to the other riders,” he said.

Peter Wrolich of Milram and Stefan Denifl of Cervelo TestTeam are the other two riders selected for Austria. The reserve rider is Milram's Thomas Rohregger.

The only other possibility for Eisel to come into form would be to ride the Tour of Britain, which starts next week. However, HTC-Columbia has already filled its squad for that race with outher riders preparing for the world championships, and under UCI rules it is difficult for a rider to race while the event he pulled out off is still underway.

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