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Jackson's highlight at the Amgen Tour of California - on the podium together with Cancellara, Ciolek and Haedo. (Photo Mark Adkinso)
Jackson's highlight at the Amgen Tour of California - on the podium together with Cancellara, Ciolek and Haedo. (Photo Mark Adkinso)

Jackson Stewart: "I knew I had to stop and they said I was hypothermic"

22. February 2008

San Luis Obispo

High peaks and cold troughs

When the weather forecast called for rain, probably few believed that the weather would play such a painfully decisive roll in today’s stage.  But the ride from Seaside to San Luis Obispo which had been touted as 135 miles (217 km) of the prettiest scenery in the United States, turned into a day of wet, cold and windy misery that few racers will forget quickly.


If the fact that stomach flu is flying through the peloton and race caravan is not unsettling enough, the riders today had to spend seven hours doing their best just to survive the day.  Jackson Stewart again figured among the racers who animated the early part of the stage.  He, along with team mate Danilo Wyss found their way into what turned into the break of the day.  Jackson then proceeded to win all top mountain points on each of the three rated climbs.  The only snag was that he realized a little late that his body had reached the point where it was no longer able to maintain a healthy temperature.

Jackson, it may seem too obvious a question, but how do you feel now?

Jackson Stewart: I have warmed up, but I have felt better.  I’m feeling pretty bad at the moment.

How did you feel at the beginning of the stage?

JS: Even at the beginning I felt pretty tired.  I was riding up front, though and was trying my hand at getting into the early breaks.  I had to drop back to the pack to help some of our guys who were having troubles.  Then I moved back up to the front and was able to get into the big break that ended up being the main break.  No one else in the break was really interested in the King of the Mountain points, so I was glad to be able to rack up those points.  But all the time it was really cold with the wind and rain.  I just kept getting colder and colder.

At what point did you know you were just getting too cold?

JS: It happened pretty quickly, actually.  After I had hit all the KOM points, I decided to drop back to the group so I could get on some more dry clothes.  But only a few more minutes after that, I realized that I was in a bad way because I could hardly handle the bike. I knew I had to stop and they said I was hypothermic.

How is the rest of the team feeling with this bug going around?

JS: Well, as of this morning no one had caught it.  Some guys are more tired than others, but we’re all doing fine for the most part.