Fabian Cancellara (Leopard-Trek) joined his teammates in Benidorm on Thursday a day late after being hospitalised by a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting hours before he was originally due to fly.
He was stung on Wednesday morning one and a half hours from home (in Switzerland) on his last training ride before departing for Spain. He went to hospital immediately after displaying some of the symptoms of a serious reaction to the sting.
He had sizeable swelling on his forehead, and other worrying symptoms, including tingling hands and forearms, Leopard-Trek spokesperson Tim Vanderjeugd told Cycling Weekly.
He stopped by the side of the road and called a team doctor who advised him to travel immediately to the nearest hospital. He was kept there for three hours before being discharged once the reaction had passed.
What is more, not only did he have the bad luck to be stung once, but he was stung last week too, and doctors said that Tuesday's sting being so recently after a previous one will have been the cause of his exacerbated symptoms.
Luckily, he has made a swift recovery and was looking fit and healthy at his team hotel after flying out on Thursday afternoon.
"I am fine. I am alive, but the bee is dead," he told Cycling Weekly wryly. "I went to hospital for a few hours, but it is OK now and I will ride normally."
The Vuelta a Espana begins on Saturday with a 13.5km team time trial in Benidorm, and runs until September 11. Cancellara will be the favourite for the 47km time trial in Salamanca on stage ten.
Vuelta a Espana 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
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