"At the beginning of the week, I wasn't feeling sick anymore and the plan was to try and get stronger day by day,” Dumoulin said in a statement released by his team. “We were going to use this week to build up my fitness, but it turned out to be different. My condition got worse over the first two stages and today I didn't have the legs to continue."
Dumoulin, who is preparing for the Giro d’Italia in May, just missed winning the opening prologue at Paris-Nice, coming in as runner-up one second behind Michael Matthews. He finished 12th overall there after beginning to feel ill during the final two days of the race.
“From Saturday to Sunday I had a sore throat and didn't feel completely well during Sunday's closing stage, and once home it continued to get worse,” he said before Milan-San Remo.
Dumoulin was replaced in the Italian race by teammate Bert de Debacker, but the Dutchman’s absence was a major blow to Giant-Alpecin after they were forced to ride without defending champion John Degenkolb, who is still recovering from being hit by a car earlier in the year.
The team were hoping Dumoulin would be ready for Catalunya and continue his preparation for upcoming starts at Pais Vasco and Amstel Gold Race next month.
"Unfortunately, Tom was not fit to continue today's stage,” said Giant-Alpecin coach Rudi Kemna. “We hoped that it would get better over the week, but his condition deteriorated and, as a result, he was unable to keep racing. Tom will travel home tomorrow to fully recover and we expect he will be able to resume his training again in the next few days."
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