UCI WorldTeam BikeExchange-Jayco experienced a really good start to Volta a Catalunya but things quickly took a turn for the worse as Simon Yates fell ill on Stage 3 of the event. To make things disastrous, Michael Matthews, who won stage 1 of the event had to abandon the event.
Following his illness, the main decision will be taken for Yates by the team management, whether he will take part in stage 4 of the event or not. Simon’s condition worsened as he was seven kilometers away from the summit of La Molina when he just sat up and did not join the group for the final surge. He finally finished 10 minutes after but the signs are not looking good.
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Simon was not feeling well today – he had a mild non-covid related illness after Paris-Nice and came here still recovering from it, and today he just didn’t feel great on the bike.
(Courtesy of CyclingNews)
Simon Yates was the absolute favorite for Volta a Catalunya following his performance at Paris-Nice where he took the overall second position. With that being said, things were already bad for Simon Yates before stage 3 started. During stage 2, he crashed during the last 20 kilometers of the stage.
If this was not bad enough, Simon Yates and two other team members (Damien Howson and Michael Hepburn) were issued a 20-second penalty for: “Sheltering behind or taking advantage of the slipstream of a vehicle”.
Michael Matthews had to abandon the event after falling ill during the extremely tough climbs of the stage.
Gene Bates, the team’s sports director stated:
Michael wasn’t feeling well during the stage and after getting sick we decided it was better for him to stop.
We cannot let all of this overshadow Team BikeExchange-Jayco’s amazing performance and their set of victories. Especially how Michael Matthews won stage 1 of Volta a Catalunya. We hope that both Matthews and Yates recover swiftly so that we can see them in action again.
Featured Image Via YouTube/ Giant Bicycles