French TT champion won’t defend title
Jean-Christophe Péraud of the Omega Pharma-Lotto is still in hospital in Lyon after pulling out of the Critérium du Dauphiné following stage three.
His team doctor told French newspaper L'Equipe that he is suffering from severe dehydration and stomach problems but according to his agent Michel Gros, he is suffering from blood poisoning and will remain in hospital at least until Monday.
Péraud crashed into a team car during stage one of the Critérium du Dauphiné as he was on his way back to the peloton but managed to finish the stage despite cuts and bruises all over his body. He then crashed again the next day but with fewer consequences.
The mountain bike silver medallist at the Beijing Olympic Games finished eighth overall at Paris-Nice and fourth at the Volta al Pais Vasco this year but joked after his recent crash: “Maybe I’m not made for racing in a peloton and I should go back to my dirt tracks because they don’t move.”
Péraud insisted on riding the individual time trial stage at the Critérium du Dauphiné but suffered and finished just 41st. His Omega Pharma-Lotto team minimised his health problems but Gros said it still not clear if Péraud would be able to leave hospital on Monday.
“The treatment will depend on which kind of virus he’s affected by,” Gros said.
Péraud is not expected to defend his French time trial title on June 24 in Chantonnay and questions remain about his chances of riding the Tour de France. Péraud was recruited by the Belgian squad in November after world champion Cadel Evans quit the team to join BMC.
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