Team Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen will miss this weekend’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad due to a cold he picked up in what’s been a few cold weeks across Europe. Chris Sutton will be his replacement for the Belgian semi-classic to open the classics calendar.
Boasson Hagen, who claimed his first victory of the season at the Volta ao Algarve last week, began to feel unwell after returning home to Norway and has been withdrawn from the race in order to speed up his recovery.
Team Sky reported that he will return at Tirreno-Adriatico, which runs between 7-13 March, and Sutton will take his place in Saturday’s squad before defending his Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne title 24 hours later.
“After Algarve finished I flew back home to Norway and didn’t feel good when I was training. The cold had got into my lungs and after talking with the doctor we decided the best thing was to miss this weekend,” Boasson Hagen said in a team release. “It’s disappointing because Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is a race I enjoy, but it’s good that I’ve got this cold out of the way sooner rather than later. It would have been worse if it had come before the Tour of Flanders, or Paris-Roubaix, and I’ll be able to build my form back up at Tirreno-Adriatico before the monuments begin.”
Juan Antonio Flecha, the 2010 champion, will be leading Team Sky across the first major cobblestones of the 2012 season.