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Sick Kristoff out of Gent-Wevelgem

Illness forces pre-race favorite Alexander Kristoff to miss Gent-Wevelgem

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Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff, among the top favorites to win Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem, did not start the race due to illness.

“Doctors said I cannot do Gent-Wevelgem because I have a slight fever,” Kristoff said in a video message posted to the team’s Twitter account. “I’ve not been feeling very well after Harelbeke. Yesterday I felt very bad. So that’s the decision.”

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The big question facing the 28-year-old Norwegian now is how well he’ll feel in one week’s time when he tries to defend his title at the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders), which he won in stunning fashion from a two-man escape in 2015.

“It’s still a week. Usually I recover faster than a week, so I assume I’ll be okay before Flanders,” Kristoff said.