Riding his Grand Tour debut for Team Sunweb at the Vuelta a España, the young Dutchman Sam Oomen was forced to abandon the race on its fourteenth stage due to sickness.
22-year-old Oomen has had an impressive Vuelta so far, supporting Wilco Kelderman uphill far into the finales, as well as sitting at 13th in the overall himself. This morning Oomen began to feel unwell and despite trying to complete today’s stage, was unable to continue with the race.
Team Sunweb’s Physician Mannes Naeff explained: “Unfortunately this morning Sam was suffering some stomach problems, due to a virus. We had hoped that he would be able to finish but with the hot conditions and a tough stage ahead, he wasn’t able to continue anymore after two hours of racing. The recovery process will take a few days then he will return to training again.”
Oomen said: “I don’t think I have ever been more disappointed than what I am today. I wasn’t able to eat or drink during the 35 degree heat today and it became impossible to continue. The Vuelta has been a great experience where I have learned a lot and hopefully I can come back stronger one day.”
Team Sunweb coach Arthur van Dongen said: “Sam has come down with the same sickness that forced Lennard [Hofstede] to abandon two stages ago. He started the stage with hope, but he couldn’t eat or drink and had no power. After 60 kilometres he was totally empty and had to climb off the bike. Sam has done a great debut so far and he will be missed. However, we will continue to fight and now everyone’s role becomes even more important. Tomorrow will be another crucial day for the overall classification and we will use Monday’s rest day to make our plans for the final week.”