Sunday’s brutal Milano-Sanremo has claimed a victim in Sylvain Chavanel. The Frenchman’s Omega Pharma-Quick Step team announced Tuesday that he would miss Dwars door Vlaanderen (Across Flanders) on Wednesday after catching a cold after the weekend.
Omega Pharma will ride the Belgian semi-classic in defense of Niki Terpstra’s 2012 victory.
“Only Niki Terpstra and Stijn Vandenbergh rode Milano-Sanremo, so the other riders at this race will be fresh,” said Omega Pharma director Wilfried Peeters in a press release. “Sylvain will be at the start of E3 Prijs Harelbeke on Friday. Gert Steegmans will be at the start after dealing with some soreness problems on his knee.”
Dwars door Vlaanderen takes in a number of the climbs to feature next week at the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) and serves as a final preview before the E3 Prijs Harelbeke kicks the cobbled classics season into gear.
“As usual, the crucial points of the race will be the Paterberg and the Oude-Kwaremont,” said Pieters. “However, another key factor will be the weather. They forecasted six degrees and rain, so it will be a completely different race than the sunny weather of last year.”
Terpstra said he would start the race with emotion.
“I won last year, which was great,” said Terpstra. “I will try again, and it will be special also to be at the start with the Dutch champion jersey and the race number one. I think it will be emotional for me at the start. The weather will probably be different than last year, but still shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t like snow, but have no problem with rain.”