Australian shifts focus to Tour of Romandie
Cadel Evans will not participate in Flèche-Wallonne on Wednesday and Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday while he continues his recovery from a sinus infection, the BMC Racing Team announced on Monday.
BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Max Testa said Evans, a past winner of Flèche-Wallonne, was motivated to play a supporting role in the two races. But after withdrawing from Sunday's Amstel Gold Race, the decision was made for the defending Tour de France champion to return home to help speed his recovery.
"Cadel has the Tour of Romandie coming in one week and with this infection, we don't want to take any risks," Dr. Testa said. "The weather won't be helpful - it's going to be rainy and cold here - so it was probably the best decision we could make in the interest of the health of the rider."
Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said Evans' absence does not affect the team's approach to either race. "We still have a good field around Philippe Gilbert, who finished sixth Sunday at Amstel Gold Race and Greg Van Avermaet to make two good Ardennes races," Lelangue said.
"Cadel was coming here with the objective to help them. That was always the plan. We know his main objective is in a few months in July. Therefore he has to make a good Tour of Romandie. It will be a good test in real stage race conditions - with a time trial, prologue and mountain stages."
BMC Racing Team Flèche-Wallonne Roster (April 18)
Brent Bookwalter, Philippe Gilbert, Martin Kohler, Klaas Lodewyck, Mauro Santambrogio, Michael Schär, Greg Van Avermaet, Tejay van Garderen