Greipel out of Kuurne after Algarve injury

André Greipel wil not start Sunday's Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, an early season classics tune-up that favors sprinters.

February has been unkind to Lotto — Soudal, between a training crash, caused by a car driver, which injured two riders, and Wednesday’s news that star sprinter André Greipel will not start Sunday’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne due to a broken rib.

Greipel, winner of four stages in last year’s Tour de France, withdrew from Volta ao Algarve after a crash in stage 4 Saturday. “André Greipel crashed rather badly yesterday, he has some serious abrasions on his right side and has a bruised rib on his left,” Lotto – Soudal said on its website. “His further programme will probably not be disturbed.”

However, on Wednesday, the team confirmed that he would not be able to race the sprinter-friendly classic, February 28, in Belgium. Greipel’s top result at Kuurne was third place in 2011. To date this season, he has two wins, Trofeo Felanitx and Trofeo Playa de Palma, both held in Spain in late January.