Team Sky quit Vuelta after death

Team Sky quit Vuelta after death
By Reuters

04/09/2010 at 18:53Updated 07/09/2010 at 00:16

Team Sky have withdrawn from the Vuelta a Espana and are blood testing their travelling crew following the death of their Spanish assistant Txema Gonzalez.

Gonzalez, 43, died on Friday after a severe bacterial infection developed into sepsis.

"We thought about it long and hard and in some instances teams have continued in these sorts of circumstances," the British team's principal Dave Brailsford told Reuters.

"But there are two things, we want to pay our respects to the family and the other thing is making absolutely 100 per cent sure there is no connection between the riders and what happened to Txema.

"We're making sure all the riders and staff are blood tested, doctors from a local clinic have been in and we're getting the results this afternoon."

Three Sky riders, including Spaniard Juan Antonio Flecha, have withdrawn from the race with illness so far but the team said earlier in a news release that they did not think there was a link with Gonzalez's death.

The team will attend the start of stage eight in Villena on Saturday, where a minute's silence will be held in respect for Gonzalez, before remaining in Spain for his funeral early next week in Pamplona.