The reason behind Rein Taaramae's current state of fatigue has finally been found: the Cofidis rider is suffering from a mononucleosis infection (glandular fever). The first symptoms of the illness appeared a few days before Paris-Nice, a race in which Taaramae finished fourth and won the best young rider jersey last year. But this season, the Estonian was transparent at the event, even though he had finished second behind Alejandro Valverde at the Ruta del Sol just a few days earlier.
Medical analyses performed last week confirmed suspicions of the infection. Taaramae has now been sent to his home in Estonia, where he will rest for at least ten days before taking up light training again, depending on the outcome of further analyses.
Team manager Eric Boyer did not know when his key rider would be able to come back to racing. "This is a viral illness qualified as benign, but it has untypical symptoms as is the case with Rein," Boyer said. "One consequence is an important fatigue but it's unfortunately not possible to predict how long it will take. The fatigue ranges from three weeks to three months."
Taaramae, who was scheduled to take part in the Volta a Catalunya starting this Monday, has thus been replaced. The 24-year-old's big objective this season, the white jersey of best young rider at the Tour de France, may well be compromised.