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BRUSSELS (AFP) — Belgian spring classics specialist Jürgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol) has pulled out of Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix due to a variety of injuries.
The 28-year-old, who finished third in last year’s Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders), fell badly in this year’s edition of that race last weekend.
“I have terrible pain in my lower back and my wrist and shoulder still hurt,” Roelandts, who had been set to lead Lotto at the “Hell of the North,” told the Flemish Sporza television station.
Cancellara loses Devolder
Stijn Devolder, defending champion Fabian Cancellara’s most important lieutenant at Trek Factory Racing, has also scratched from the race.
“Devolder had several hard crashes during the Flanders classic and suffers from internal bruises, periostitis, and myofascial damage all over the left side of the body, most severely on the left elbow. Although he was in pain, the Belgian champion completed the reconnaissance ride of the Paris-Roubaix course,” the team said is a press release.
“It was a very hard decision to withdraw Stijn from our line-up. Stijn was to be Cancellara’s first lieutenant, offering us several tactical options between Compiègne and Roubaix. This is a real displeasure for us, but we have no choice. He had too much pain yesterday. He could hardly hold his handlebar and it would not be wise to bring him to start and risk a new crash,” said director Dirk Demol. “We need seven fit men around Fabian on Sunday. A lot is at stake.”
Boy Van Poppel will replaced Devolder in the Trek roster.