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Chris Froome kicked off his season last month with...

‘Disappointed’ Froome to miss Tirreno-Adriatico with chest infection

The Sky rider was slated to start the stage race on Wednesday alongside his main Tour de France rivals

MILAN (VN) — 2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Sky) will miss the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race this week in Tuscany due to a chest infection.

“Still not feeling well so won’t be making it to #TirrenoAdriatico2015,” the Brit wrote on Twitter. “Really disappointed but health comes first! Time for some R&R…”

Froome made his 2015 debut in the Ruta del Sol stage race last month and won the overall title. The week-long Tirreno-Adriatico, which starts Wednesday, was due to be part of his Tour de France build-up. Tour rivals Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) will participate in the race that travels east from Lido di Camaiore to San Benedetto del Tronto, March 11-17.

Instead, Froome will continue his 2015 season at the Volta a Catalunya, March 23-29.

“This is obviously frustrating after the good start that I’ve had to the season, but it’s a minor setback. I’ve been ill for a few days now and unfortunately, I couldn’t shake it off in time for the race,” Froome added in a Sky press release.

“After speaking with the doctors we decided as a precaution that it would be best to take a few days off the bike to recover fully. We’re only at the start of the season and I should be fine to race the Volta a Catalunya later this month.

“We have a very strong team going into Tirreno-Adriatico. The mood in the camp is great. I’ll be following the race closely and wish my teammates all the best.”

Sky’s new team lineup for Tirreno-Adriatico includes Kanstantsin Siutsou instead of Froome. He will ride alongside Vasil Kiryienka, Leopold König, Mikel Nieve, Wout Poels, Salvatore Puccio, Ian Stannard, and Elia Viviani.

The leadership reins for Tirreno could be handed over to one of Sky’s new recruits, Poels or König. Czech rider König placed seventh in the Tour de France last year racing for NetApp-Endura. Dutchman Poels trained with Froome at altitude in South Africa in January and placed 15th in the Tour of Oman last month.

In 2014, Froome also had to miss Tirreno-Adriatico. Instead of a chest infection, reoccurring back problems forced him from starting the Italian WorldTour event. Last year, he began his season with a win in the Tour of Oman and returned from his Tirreno miss with a sixth-place finish in the Volta a Catalunya.

Richie Porte was Froome’s last-minute replacement for Tirreno last year, a move that upset Paris-Nice organizer ASO. Porte returned to Paris-Nice this year, where he is racing with Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas.