Illness has forced André Greipel to skip the Tour of Qatar (February 5-10), Lotto-Belisol team officials confirmed Thursday.
The German sprinter ace has come down with the stomach flu and will not be ready to make the long trip to the Middle East. He is expected to be able to rebound in time for the Tour of Oman (February 14-19).
Team officials said that the demands of the Qatar race, with flat, long and windy stages, would put Greipel under too much pressure heading into the spring classics.
Greipel’s first major goal will be Milan-San Remo and the team is cautious about having unnecessary setbacks so early in the season.