Norwegian Thor Hushovd has pulled out of this week’s edition of the Etoile de Besseges stage race because of illness, his Cervélo team said Tuesday.

“Thor Hushovd was scheduled to start the Étoile de Bessèges on Wednesday, but because of a bad cold he will postpone his season debut until the Volta ao Algarve,” the team noted in an announcement posted to its website on Tuesday.

Hushovd, the green jersey champion from the 2009 Tour de France, will formally begin his season on February 17 at the Portugal’s Tour of the Algarve in Portugal.

The Etoile de Besseges is held in southern France from February 3-7 and suits riders of all capabilities. France’s Thomas Voeckler is the defending champion.

Cervelo TestTeam for the Etoile de Besseges:
João Correia (POR)
Stefan Denifl (AUT)
Ted King (USA)
Brett Lancaster (AUS)
Daniel Lloyd (GBR)
Oscar Pujol (ESP)
Dominique Rollin (CAN)
Marcel Wyss (SUI)