Norwegian rider Thor Hushovd was not able to defend his title at the 2005 Classic Haribo on Sunday, February 20. After finishing the Tour Méditerranéen, Hushovd (Crédit Agricole) felt ill and could not train for the last few days. "I tried to get on my bike yesterday," he said to French website velomania.net. "But there was nothing I could do. I couldn't stop coughing. Of course, it's not the end of the world but I am disappointed. I was in good form and did want to win a race soon at the start of this season," he explained.
Hushovd will be consulting his team's doctor to determine if he needs to take antibiotics. He was scheduled to participate in Het Volk and Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne next week to prepare for Tirreno Adriatico, but is now unsure whether he will be able to ride at these races.