Hesjedal slowed by stomach problems at Amstel Gold Race

Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) bested his four breakaway companions to win the Amgen Tour of California's final stage.

Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) bested his four breakaway companions to win the Amgen Tour of California's final stage. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)

Ryder Hesjedal finished second in last year's Amstel Gold Race and was the team leader for Garmin-Cervelo this year but stomach problems wrecked his race, even causing him to stop and use the toilet in a house along the race route.

The Canadian finished just two seconds behind Philippe Gilbert last year. This year he was next to last in the official result, finishing 141st at 14:14.

Brazilian sprinter Murilo Fischer was Garmin-Cervelo's best finisher in 28th place, 2:20 down on Gilbert and Gabriel Rasch was 51st at 2:29. Christian Vande Velde finished 90th at 6:03.

Hesjedal finished just ahead of the broom wagon and was understandably disappointed after his strong form at the recent Vuelta al Pais Vasco.

"It came on during the race in the about the last hour. I felt great and it’s just unfortunate. It's a wasted opportunity when it happens. But when your stomach goes, you lose a lot of liquids," he told Cyclingnews looking pale and drained of energy.

"It got worse when I went hard on the climbs. Then it eased and I thought I was okay on the flat roads but then I couldn't keep going. I had to use somebody house along the roadside in Holland and deal with it. When you've got to go, you've got to go."

Hesjedal wasn't sure of the exact cause of the problem but hoped to recover quickly and regain his form for the two remaining Ardennes Classics: Fleche-Wallonne on Wednesday and Liege-Bastogne-Liege next Sunday.

"I don't know what caused it. It's not super uncommon to get with all the sugars you take on board and all the drinks. If we knew how to prevent it we would," he said.

"This is the first out of three. I feel fine apart from my stomach and so I want to bounce back and show myself, especially in Liege-Bastogne-Liege."

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