André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) has been ruled out of the Tour of Qatar with illness. The German sprinter had been expected to contend the sprints after a superb showing at the Tour Down Under, where he won three stages. His team expect him to recover for the Tour of Oman which starts later this month.
Greipel took part in the team's presentation on Wednesday, but by the end of the day was complaining of stomach problems and fever.
Team doctor Jan Mathieu said, "A medical examination this morning confirmed that Andre Greipel has fever and suffers from a viral gastro-enteritis."
Team boss Marc Sergeant decided to pull the German from Qatar. "Due to the very short timeframe in which we have to decide and organize, we will take André Greipel out of our selection for the Tour of Qatar. ASO has been informed of our decision. Races over there are so hard riders need to be in good health, otherwise this could endanger the season . However, at this moment we maintain André in our selection for Oman. We hope we can still select Jonas Van Genechten, who was our back-up rider, as our 8th rider for Qatar."