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Page last updated at 20:36 GMT, Monday, 30 August 2010 21:36 UK

Team Sky pair quit Tour of Spain due to illness

Ben Swift
Swift signed for Team Sky in January 2010

Two Team Sky riders have quit the Tour of Spain during the third stage having been left sick by a mystery illness that has swept through the team.

"John Lee Augustyn and Ben Swift both pulled out because they could not continue as they were so sick," said team principal Dave Brailsford.

"Another three, Simon Gerrans, Ian Stannard and Pete Kennaugh are all really bad."

Britain's Mark Cavendish lost his Tour lead to Philippe Gilbert on Monday.

Brailsford added: "It's basically they can't stop vomiting but we don't think it's food poisoning.

606: DEBATE

"We've got our own chef and the riders and staff eat separately and we're always very vigilant about hygiene"

The sultry conditions in the 157.3km (97.7-mile) run from Marbella to Malaga were not to Cavendish's liking and he was left trailing by the peloton.

Gilbert broke clear in the final stages to capture the stage and claim a 14-second overall advantage over Spaniard Joaquin Rodriguez.

Cavendish dropped to 138th in the 21-stage race, which ends on 19 September.

Spaniard Serafin Martinez made a burst for the line in Malaga but was overtaken by Gilbert, who then withstood the challenge of Rodriguez over the final kilometre to win by three seconds.

"The target was to win the stage so the leader's jersey is a bonus," said the 28-year-old, who recorded a time of four hours, six minutes and 12 seconds.

Gilbert, twice a winner of the Paris-Tours event, also won the Amstel Gold Race in April.

Tuesday's 183km (113-mile) stage will take the riders from Malaga to Valdepenas de Jaen



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see also
Cavendish loses in sprint finish
29 Aug 10 |  Cycling
Team hands Cavendish Spain lead
28 Aug 10 |  Cycling
Cavendish named for Tour of Spain
25 Aug 10 |  Cycling
GB duo join Cavendish at Worlds
26 Aug 10 |  Cycling
Tour tougher than 2009 - Cavendish
23 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Contador seals third Tour victory
25 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Petacchi wins as Cavendish fades
07 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Cavendish delays start of season
22 Jan 10 |  Cycling


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