Janier Acevedo was set to lead his Cannondale-Garmin team at the upcoming Tour de San Luis, however, a recent knee injury will prevent him from starting, the team confirmed on Friday. The team replaced their Colombian climber with Norwegian talent Kristoffer Skjerping.
"Janier developed tendonitis of the left knee but he is improving nicely with therapy and as of now, team medical staff are optimistic that he will be back on track soon," Cannondale-Garmin said in a statement to Cyclingnews.
The team are still hoping for a top overall placing, however, their goals have shifted more toward stage victories during the seven-day race held from January 19-25 in the Argentinean province of San Luis.
“Our team will always go out to win,” said Bingen Fernández, Cannondale-Garmin’s directeur sportif for the race, in a press release from the Tour de San Luis. “ But the Tour de San Luis is unpredictable. We do not know if our riders and rivals are on a really good level right now.”
The team’s six-man roster will also include Nathan Brown, Tom Danielson, Joe Dombrowski, Ben King and Ted King.
“It will be the race itself which decides who our leader will be,” Fernández said. “Nairo [Quinatna] and the Argentinian cyclists, as they ride their home event, are tough rivals for the rest of the peloton.”
The Tour de San Luis marks the first race of the season for the newly-merged WorldTour team. Last year, Garmin-Sharp’s Phil Gaimon, who now races for the American Continental team Optum Pro Cycling, won the opening stage and wore the yellow leader’s jersey. He ended up finishing second overall to Quintana.