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Prologue favorite Dennis out of Paris-Nice

Former hour record holder Rohan Dennis will not race Paris-Nice as planned because of an illness.

The BMC Racing Team confirmed in a Friday press release that the Australian has been diagnosed with sinusitis.

“Rohan is suffering from sinusitis, and although it is nothing too serious he will not be fit to race at Paris-Nice,” said Dr. Daniele Zaccaria, the team’s doctor. “His condition worsened this morning and given we are only two days out from the opening prologue, there is not enough time for him to fully recover, especially considering we are expecting cold weather and rain in Paris.

“With antibiotics and some solid rest he should be back on the bike within the next five days and we don’t expect this illness to affect his racing program beyond Paris-Nice.”

Paris-Nice, an eight-day race that travels from north to south in France, kicks off Sunday with a 6.1km prologue that seemed suited to Dennis’ strengths.

“I really wanted to win the time trial on Sunday so it is disappointing to not be lining up,” Dennis said. “I’ve felt the illness lingering a bit in the past few days but today it has really hit me and we don’t have enough days ahead of Sunday for a proper recovery. At the end of the day my health is the priority and I’m focused on recovering well and lining up at my next race.”

Dennis is a strong time trialist who broke the hour record last February by riding 52.491 kilometers. His mark stood until May, when Alex Dowsett increased the standard to 52.937km. Bradley Wiggins set the current mark of 54.526km a month later.

Dennis’ 2015 season also included two stage wins and the overall victory at the USA Pro Challenge, along with the GC title at the Santos Tour Down Under. At the Tour de France, he tallied two stage wins — the stage 1 time trial and, along with his teammates, the stage 9 team time trial.

BMC brass replaced Dennis with Peter Velits on the Paris-Nice roster.

BMC Racing for Paris-Nice

Marcus Burghardt (GER)
Philippe Gilbert (BEL)
Ben Hermans (BEL)
Amaël Moinard (FRA)
Richie Porte (AUS)
Michael Schär (SUI)
Peter Velits (SVK)
Danilo Wyss (SUI)

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