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Team Sky rider Christian Knees forced out with illness

Team Sky rider Christian Knees has been forced to pull out of the Vuelta a Espana due to illness.

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The German had been part of team leader Chris Froome's support squad, but was taken ill on Monday night.

Following a rest day on Tuesday, Knees withdrew on the morning of stage 17, which sees riders travel from Ortigueira to A Coruna, and room-mate Philip Deignan offered an insight into his colleague's condition.

"Although my hotel room is really nice, I didn't get a whole lot of sleep [on Monday night]," he wrote in his Irish Independent column. "I was first woken up at about 2am by the sounds of my German room-mate Christian Knees vomiting in the bathroom.

"Half asleep, I was just about to get up and check on him after a few minutes when I realised that the sounds Christian was making were now coming from both ends, so I scrapped that idea and simply rolled over in my bed instead.

"Although he got back into bed and fell asleep shortly afterwards, Christian was up and down to the loo most of the night so we decided to wake the team doctor at around 6.30.

"Not wanting me to come down with the same dose, he moved me out of the environment and organised a new room for me, where I eventually went back to sleep."

Froome is third in the general classification after stage 16, one minute and 39 seconds adrift of leader Alberto Contador.

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