Phonak's Axel Merckx has been ordered to stay at home in Monaco for the next couple of weeks. Initially wanting to participate in the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, Merckx will instead put on some more training rides to get in better shape, as he has been struggling since Paris-Nice.
"Axel really wanted to ride (the Ronde), but at the moment he's only at 60 percent of his possibilities," Phonak team manager John Lelangue said. "Ever since Paris-Nice, where he had the flu, he's been struggling. It didn't work well in the Criterium International, either. So the new plan is for him is to train hard in Monaco for two weeks to be back at Amstel Gold Race. With that Dutch Classic in the legs, as well as Flèche Wallonne, he should be good for Liège, which is his first big goal this season."