Gesink, Flens out of Haut Var for Rabobank

Illnesses strike down two Dutch riders

Rabobank had to make some last-minute changes to its line-up for the Tour du Haut Var. Neither Robert Gesink nor Rick Flens will be at the start on Saturday afternoon at La Croix Valmer, both having become ill this week.

Gesink returned home on Thursday from the team's training camp in France, with a case of the flu. He will now sit out racing until his next planned race, Tirreno-Adriatico (March 10-16). “I'd really like to have ridden Haut Var,” he said on the team's website. “Last week in the Tour Mediterranean it got better from day-to-day. On the last day I felt fine.”

The 23-year-old is disappointed by missing the race, but is not concerned. “I will now take a few days break and then go on fully with my preparations.”

Flens came down with a mild respiratory infection at the Tour Mediterranean, suffering from the bad weather as did so many others. He continued to train in France this week, but “is not quite in top condition,” the team said.

Directeur Sportif Erik Dekker will now have a squad at Haut Var of Steven Kruijswijk, Grischa Niermann, Kai Reus, Dennis van Winden, Pieter Weening, Koos Moerenhout, Dmitryi Kozontchuk and Jos van Emden.

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