By Shane Stokes
Following a third place overall in the recent Tour Méditerranéen plus a win last year in the Route du Sud, Irish rider Dan Martin headed to Paris-Nice aiming for another strong result on French soil. Things haven't worked out as the 22-year-old Garmin Slipstream rider was ill and did not start the third stage.
Trent Lowe was also ill and came home one place ahead of his teammate. Both riders lost nine minutes 57 seconds to the day's winner, Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo Test Team), and are almost eleven minutes behind race leader Alberto Contador (Astana).
Martin finished 72nd in the day one time trial, then 157th on Monday's second stage. "Dan's got a little fever as of right now," said team CEO Jonathan Vaughters, when asked about the Irishman's performance. "I'm not sure what's going to happen Tuesday." The answer is that Martin did not start stage three.
Martin's first cousin Nicolas Roche is faring better, having placed 13th in Monday's sprint finish. The race continues Tuesday with a lumpy 178-kilometre stage from Orval to Vichy.