Italian Alessandro Ballan (Lampre), winner of the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, will have to sit out Sunday's Amstel Gold Race because of a fever, his team has announced. Ballan is also feeling the draining effects of last Sunday's Paris-Roubaix, where he had a disappointing finish in 61st place, more than nine minutes behind winner Stuart O'Grady.
The team will also be without Slovenian Gorazd Stangelj, who has a hairline fracture in his clavicle following a fall during training.
Predictor-Lotto will be without the strong legs of their Classics man, Björn Leukemans, for Amstel. After finishing just one step away from the podium in Paris-Roubaix, Leukemans has come down with a bronchitis, according to his personal website, www.bjornleukemans.be, and doesn't expect to be able to compete this weekend.