Gert Steegmans will not ride Milano-Sanremo this year, telling his Team Katusha that it would be better to give his place to a teammate who is fitter.
The Belgian went into Paris-Nice after a bout with the flu, and is still not up to speed. He is currently in 34th place, only 1:54 down. He hopes to finish the race in decent condition and get healthy again, according to Sportwereld.
The new Russian team still has two strong leaders for the race, in Filippo Pozzato, who won the race in 2006 and finished second last year, as well as sprinter Robbie McEwen. Katusha will announce its Milano-Sanremo line-up after Paris-Nice.
Steegmans, 28, rode the Italian race last year for the first time. This year he wants to concentrate on the Belgian Spring Classics. (SW)