Rohan Dennis has been ruled out of Paris-Nice due to illness. In a statement issued on Friday morning, his BMC team said that the Australian is suffering from sinusitis and has been removed from the line-up as a precaution.
“I really wanted to win the time trial on Sunday so it is disappointing to not be lining up,” said Dennis, who made his European racing appearance of 2016 at the Classic Sud Ardèche last weekend, having already competed at the Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race in Australia.
“I've felt the illness lingering a bit in the past few days but today it has really hit me and we don't have enough days ahead of Sunday for a proper recovery. At the end of the day my health is the priority and I'm focused on recovering well and lining up at my next race.”
Dennis was due to target the opening time trial and then ride in support of his fellow countryman Richie Porte at Paris-Nice. His BMC team said that the remainder of his Spring schedule is unlikely to be altered as a result of his illness. The Rio 2016 Olympics time trial is the expected centrepiece of Dennis’ season.
"Rohan is suffering from sinusitis, and although it is nothing too serious he will not be fit to race at Paris-Nice. His condition worsened this morning and given we are only two days out from the opening prologue, there is not enough time for him to fully recover, especially considering we are expecting cold weather and rain in Paris," BMC team doctor Daniele Zaccaria said.
"With antibiotics and some solid rest he should be back on the bike within the next five days and we don't expect this illness to affect his racing program beyond Paris-Nice.”
Dennis has been replaced in the BMC line-up for Paris-Nice by Peter Velits. As well as defending champion Richie Porte, BMC’s team for the Race to the Sun will also include Philippe Gilbert and Amaël Moinard.
Tejay van Garderen, meanwhile, will lead BMC at next week’s Tirreno-Adriatico, where he will be joined in the team by Greg Van Avermaet and Taylor Phinney.
BMC team for Paris-Nice (March 6-13): Marcus Burghardt, Philippe Gilbert, Ben Hermans, Amaël Moinard, Richie Porte, Michael Schär, Peter Velits, Danilo Wyss.
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