Frank Hoj was not at the start. Daniel Benson spoke to a Saxo Bank henchman at the start and they confirmed that the rider spent the night in hospital with a fever. No replacement was called up.
Meanwhile teammate Matti Breschel, or the Danish Dynamo as he’s known to some, said, “I’ll try and stay in the front group and we’ll see. The weather will be a big factor and it’s cold and windy today. I don’t know how my form is but it will be harder without Frank."
Stuart O’Grady, his teammate, added: "It’s never nice to start the race with a man down and he was a really important part of the team. He knows all these roads a lot better than me. As for me, I’ve not ridden in leg warmers for a while so it’s a bit of a difference from where we’ve come from."