Carlos Sastre's light early-season race programme has been further reduced after the Spaniard confirmed that he will miss Amstel Gold Race as a result of the effects of Volcano Eyjafjallajökull on European air travel. Sastre's Cervélo teammate Volodimir Gustov will miss the race after his flight was also cancelled.
For Sastre, the Dutch Classic would have been just the second race of his 2010 season, following his debut at the Tour of Catalunya last month.
"I had a flight yesterday afternoon from Barajas, but it was suspended," said Sastre on Saturday afternoon. "The travel agency that works with the team has tried every means to find a flight this morning but hasn't been possible – they're all cancelled."
Cervélo will confirm their final line-up for Amstel on Saturday afternoon, though Sastre's compatriot Xavier Tondo will make it to Maastricht in time for the race.
"We had most of our riders already in The Netherlands as they arrived before the Brabantse Pijl that took place last Wednesday" said Cervélo General Manager Joop Alberda.
"The flights yesterday for Sastre, Gustov and Xavier Tondo were cancelled. For Tondo we found a solution to come by car and for Sastre and Gustov, we were depending on the airports opening today but we just received word that all the major airports around Maastricht will be closed until 8 p.m. tonight."
The announcement of Sastre's withdrawal follows confirmation from Team Sky on Saturday morning that Spain-based Bradley Wiggins would also miss the first of the Ardennes Classics. Sastre will instead train at home on Sunday in the hope that European air services return to normal in time for him to participate in Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday.
"I have the flight to Brussels on Tuesday and there are expected to be no problems," said Sastre. "In the morning, strong training will compensate me not being able to race at Amstel."