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Bronchitis keeps Colbrelli out of Milan-San Remo

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 26 Sonny Colbrelli of Italy and Team Bahrain Victorious prior to the 77th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2022 Mens Race a 2042km race from Ghent to Ninove OHN22 FlandersClassic WorldTour on February 26 2022 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images
Sonny Colbrelli before his season starting race at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on February 26 2022 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The bronchitis that took Sonny Colbrelli out of Paris-Nice has also seen the Bahrain Victorious rider ruled out of Milan-San Remoon Saturday, further interrupting what was already a late entry to the season.

The winner of last year’s unforgettable Paris-Roubaix started his season at the end of February at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne in late February, but his continued build into the Classics was interrupted after just one stage at Paris-Nice, with the rider dropped in the finale of the opening stage and then he didn’t line up to start stage 2.

“Sonny Colbrelli is still recovering from bronchitis that kept him out of Paris-Nice and will not be racing Milan-San Remo,” Bahrain Victorious said on Twitter.

The rider added on Instagram that the decision was made with medical staff to allow more time for “recovering well” so he can be ready to continue on with the rest of the season.

Colbrelli’s is a key player for the team in the Classics, with victory at the late season Paris-Roubaix providing plenty of inspiration for the 2022 season. Before the interruption his season got off to an almost perfect start at Omloop Het Niewsblad where Colbrelli took second, winning the bunch sprint behind solo winner Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma). 

The 31-year-old has a strong record at Milan-San Remo, making the top-ten four times over his ten starts at the 298km-long Monument, so the European champion's absence from the start list will be felt at Bahrain Victorious. 

The team’s hopes are now likely to rest on the shoulders of Matej Mohorič, who last year came 11th at the race, while Colbrelli finished three spots ahead. Mohorič also finished fifth in 2019. The Slovenian national champion has marked Milan-San Remo out as his favourite race, hoping one day he can make the most of the climb of the Poggio and then ride over the line to celebrate a victory. 

Mohorič had a solid start to the season at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana with three stage top tens, but the real focus was on the build toward spring, with Strade Bianche and then Milan-San Remo key early targets. He was caught up in the havoc caused by wind gusts early in the race at Strade Bianche, hurting his knee in the crash and abandoning the race, so now he'll be looking to San Remo to see if that early spring form is where it needs to be deliver a top result.

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Simone joined the team as Production Editor based in Australia at the start of the 2021 season, having previously worked as Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg.