Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) has withdrawn from this weekend's Tour Haut Var due to the continuation of cold conditions across southern France.
The Spaniard last week won the overall title at the Tour Méditerranéen in the region near to the Provence area where the two-stage Haut Var will be held. Despite his success at Méditerranéen, Valverde said the challenging conditions of the event had caused him to re-think his February race schedule.
"I would have liked to participate [in Haut Var] because the profile of both the stages is suited to me but after the Méditerranéen Tour, which was rather exhausting because of the cold weather, it is wiser to stop a little bit before starting competing again," said Valverde on his personal website.
Valverde will train at home before a return to competition at the one-day Clásica de Almería in southern Spain on February 28.
Valverde is currently ranked seventh on the International Cycling Union's individual ProTour rankings. His success in France last week followed participation in the ProTour calendar opener, the Tour Down Under, where he finished 19th overall.