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Italian champion Filippo Pozzato was confident on the start line.
Katusha rider to return to Italy, Ivanov recovered
The Tour of Flanders lost one of its top favourites, as Filippo Pozzato's intestinal virus has definitely knocked him out of the race. Only yesterday, Team Katusha had confirmed that he was getting better and would ride on Sunday.
"His stomach flu was even worse last night. Tomorrow morning he will return to Italy," said Directeur Sportif Bart Leysen according to sporza.be
"Filippo lay in bed all day yesterday, but did not improve. Instead he got worse," Leysen said. "This morning he finally decided to throw in the towel."
Pozzato also told the Gazzetta dello Sport that he has a fever. "Last night I did not sleep a wink. I cannot eat, and I am a physical wreck. The doctor has advised me not to ride. It is impossible to be fit by Sunday."
He is now aiming at Paris-Roubaix on April 11.
With Pozzato out of the mix, the team will look to Serguei Ivanov, who has apparently recovered from his intestinal problems. "He will certainly start on Sunday," Leysen said. "He is our leader."