De Jongh won't defend Kuurne title

Quick Step's Steven De Jongh will miss this weekend's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and...

Quick Step's Steven De Jongh will miss this weekend's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. The Dutch rider is suffering from tendonitis in his left leg.

De Jongh is the defending champion at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, having launched a successful break away at last year's race. The Dutchman had originally intended on defending his title at the event, to be held on March 1.

"I'm really sorry that I won't be able to take part in this weekend's race," said De Jongh. "Last year I won at Kurne and it's too bad I can't be there now."

De Jongh plans on spending three days away from the bike this week to help with his recovery. He will then return to training ahead of an important block of racing next month.

"The most important thing for me at this time is to recuperate from this injury 100 percent so I can be useful to the team in the coming weeks," he said. "Saturday and Sunday I'll be glued to the TV supporting for my team mates."

Despite missing the defending champion from its lineup, Quick Step will take a strong team to the race. Its squad includes Tom Boonen, Stijn Devolder, Kevin De Weert, Kurt Hovelynck, Kevin Hulsmans, Jurgen Van De Walle and Maarten Wijnants.

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