2011 Vuelta a Espana runner-up Chris Froome (Sky) has been removed from the British ProTour squad's Paris-Nice line-up due to illness. The 26-year-old Briton picked up a chest infection in his debut race of the 2012 season, the Volta ao Algarve, and withdrew after the third stage.
Froome is still recovering, it was announced on teamsky.com, and as a result Spaniard Xabier Zandio will replace Froome in Sky's eight-man Paris-Nice roster.
"Chris has not yet recovered from the chest infection he picked up at the Volta ao Algarve," said team doctor Richard Freeman. "He's improving and it's nothing serious but by skipping Paris-Nice this gives him ample time to recover.
"The team felt this was the best approach for the rider and he'll be back to his best in no time."
Paris-Nice is the second event on the UCI WorldTour calendar and the first of the season on European soil. The eight-day stage race begins Sunday, March 4 in Dampierre-en-Yvelines, France with a 9.4km individual time trial. The race concludes on Sunday, March 11 with another individual time trial, a 9.6km parcours to the top of the Col d'Èze.