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Flu knocks Dumoulin out of Milano-Sanremo

A bout of flu that reared its head at Paris-Nice will keep Giant – Alpecin’s Tom Dumoulin from racing at Milano-Sanremo this weekend.

“Tom has the flu, and with only two days to Milano-Sanremo, we decided it won’t be possible for him to race,” team doctor Anko Boelens said in a team statement. “He is recovering at home and we will monitor his progress closely.”

Dumoulin will focus on recovering in time for the Volta a Catalunya, an important part of his preparation for the Giro d’Italia in May.

“It’s disappointing for me to miss one of the biggest classics of the season,” Dumoulin said. “It started at Paris-Nice. From Saturday to Sunday I had a sore throat and didn’t feel completely well during Sunday’s closing stage and once home, it continued to get worse. It is a pity that I can’t start Milano-Sanremo, but I need to accept it. I hope I will be fit in time for Catalunya and in the coming days we will know more.”

Dumoulin finished 12th overall at Paris-Nice, and 12th on Saturday’s stage to the mountaintop finish at Madone d’Utelle.

The Dutch time trialist was 25th at La Primavera last year, which was won by teammate John Degenkolb. Degenkolb will not start the monument this weekend, as he is still recovering from a crash with a car at a training camp in Spain that sent six Giant-Alpecin riders to the hospital.

“It’s very unfortunate that Tom won’t be starting on Saturday since he is considered as one of our riders capable of handling the tough finale at Milano-Sanremo,” said team coach Marc Reef. “Our plan will change slightly, which means that we will race more opportunistically and the aim is still to bring Simon [Geschke] to the finale as fresh as possible.”