Astarloa sidelined with toxoplasmosis

By Susan Westemeyer

The biggest name to drop out of yesterday's Dauphiné Libéré stage was Igor Astarloa, Team Milram's captain. Team Spokeswoman Stefan Schwenke explained to Cyclingnews the 2003 World Champion came down with toxoplasmosis. "Nothing serious but it takes some time to get rid of it."

According to the US Center for Disease Control, toxoplasmosis is usually caused by "eating contaminated raw or partly cooked meat, especially pork, lamb or venison; by touching your hands to your mouth after handling undercooked meat, [or by] contaminating food with knives, utensils, cutting boards and other foods that have had contact with raw meat."

Most cases show no symptoms at all, while mild cases show flu-like symptoms. "If symptoms occur they typically go away within a few weeks to months," according to the CDC. It is not yet known how long Astarloa could be out of action.