Katusha’s Filippo Pozzato has pulled out of the Tour of Flanders one-day classic because of a lingering ailment, Gazzetta dello Sport reported Friday.
Pozzato, fifth in the race last year and runner-up in the 2009 Paris-Roubaix, still has a fever and has been suffering from diarrhea according to the report.
“The fever has come down a bit but I haven’t been able to eat anything and I feel physically flat,” said Pozzato. “The doctor advised total rest, so racing on Sunday was a no-go.”
Pozzato, one of the big favorites to win the Ronde van Vlaanderen, made the decision not to compete in the 262km race after consulting with Katusha manager Andrei Tchmil, a former winner of the race, on Friday morning.
Pozzato is now hoping he’ll be fit in time for next weekend’s Paris-Roubaix.
The “Ronde,” as locals like to call it, is the biggest one-day classic in Flemish-speaking Belgium and the second of cycling’s five ‘monuments’ in the season after Milan-San Remo.
Peppered with 15 short but steep climbs, many of which are cobbled, the Tour of Flanders usually takes a costly toll on the peloton.