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Flanders fall forces Demare out of Paris-Roubaix

The 24-year-old became the first Frenchman to win a major classic last month at Milano-Sanremo.

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PARIS (AFP) — Milano-Sanremo winner Arnaud Demare has lost his race against time to be ready for Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix, his FDJ team said Thursday.

Demare became the first French winner of a major classic since 1997 when he triumphed at Sanremo last month. The 24-year-old crashed hard in the Tour of Flanders last weekend, however, suffering severe cuts and bruises.

“Despite all our efforts to get him ready after his fall, regretfully he’s pulling out,” FDJ team manager Marc Madiot said.

Said Demare, “It’s too bad, but I’m out. I’ll be back for the Giro [d’Italia].”

Paris-Roubaix is a grueling, 257.5-kilometer race featuring 52.8km of roughly hewn cobblestoned paths. It ends on the Roubaix velodrome.