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Quintana loses two teammates at Pais Vasco to gastronenteritis

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Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Gorka Izagirre (Movistar Team)

Gorka Izagirre (Movistar Team) (Image credit: Movistar Team)
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KOM leader Jon Izaguirre (Movistar)

KOM leader Jon Izaguirre (Movistar) (Image credit: ASO)
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Ion Izagirre wins the 2016 GP Miguel Indurain

Ion Izagirre wins the 2016 GP Miguel Indurain (Image credit: Bettini)
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The Izagirre brothers cross the line together

The Izagirre brothers cross the line together (Image credit: Tim de Waele/

The two Izagirre brothers, Ion and Gorka, did not start the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, Monday, because of gastroenteritis, meaning their Movistar squad will start with six riders.

The loss of the Izagirre brothers, who went down with the illness on Sunday, constitutes a blow to Movistar's hope for the race. Movistar have Nairo Quintana as their leader for the six day Basque race, which Quintana won in 2013.

Ion Izagirre was in strong form, taking the GP Miguel Indurain one-day race on Saturday in a spectacular two-up hilly duel against Team Sky's Sergio Henao. A winner of the Tour de Pologne in 2015, Izagirre had finished third in the Vuelta al País Vasco last year and had recently finished fifth in Paris-Nice.

"Both of them have gastroenteritis," team doctor Jesus Hoyos told Cyclingnews at the start of the opening stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. "Both of them went home after the GP Indurain, the strange thing is that they hadn't eaten together since Friday evening and the rest of the team from that race feel absolutely fine, including the staff. It's baffling."

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Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.