Quick Step lost two of Tom Boonen's key lieutenants in the Circuit Franco-Belge on Friday. Steven De Jongh and Kevin van Impe both withdrew due to physical ailments. 15km into the miserably cold and wet stage from Bray-Dunes to Poperinge, De Jongh pulled out due to pain in his back, possibly due to his kidneys.
The 34-year-old was seen at a local hospital Friday evening, and a team press release stated that he does not have any serious problems, but is being kept under the team's medical observation for a few days.
Van Impe pulled out due to increased pain coming from the tendon of his right knee – possibly made worse by the cold, wet weather. The Belgian has been suffering from recurring knee problems since the start of the season, and decided to pull-out of the race in order to not jeopardise his knee in light of the end of season races.