Chavanel out of San Remo with bronchitis

Flanders runner-up scratches from La Primavera to recover in time for northern classics

French champion Sylvain Chavanel is a late scratch for Milan-San Remo, his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team announced Wednesday. Chavanel, runner-up at the Tour of Flanders in 2011, is battling bronchitis.

“This morning I set off on my bike for the long workout for San Remo,” Chavanel said in a team release. “After a few hours of working out, though, I started coughing and having the same respiratory problems I was having during the Paris-Nice. In agreement with the team’s medical staff we decided to not take any risks in view of the Northern Classics and to observe a few more days of rest.”

Fresh off today’s Nokere Koerse in Belgium, Italian Matteo Trentin will replace Chavanel in La Primavera. Trentin played a key role in setting teammate Francesco Chicchi up to win Wednesday and will make his first start in his country’s biggest one-day race.

“I’m really sorry for Sylvain and I hope he gets better soon,” said Trentin. “For me to ride in the San Remo is a dream come true. I still haven’t had the time to get used to the news, but I am very happy. I’m going to try to do my best, giving my all for the team.”

Omega Pharma’s Milan-San Remo squad also lost Dries Devenyns last weekend when the Belgian suffered a shoulder fracture in a frightening crash on the descent of the Col de Vence at Paris-Nice. Devenyns was pacing Levi Leipheimer back to the peloton following two previous crashes when they could not avoid a race motorbike on the inside of a corner.

The 103rd Milan-San Remo takes place this Saturday, March 17.

Omega Pharma-Quick Step
Tom Boonen (BEL)
Gerald Ciolek (GER)
Nikolas Maes (BEL)
Jérome Pineau (FRA)
Niki Terpstra (NED)
Matteo Trentin (ITA)
Stijn Vandenbergh (BEL)
Peter Velits (SVK)