The IAM Cycling team has announced that Sylvain Chavanel will not line up at Paris-Roubaix as he is suffering from bronchitis. The Frenchman finished a low-key 19th at the Tour of Flanders last weekend and complained afterwards that he had been suffering from breathing problems during the race.
“I was having trouble breathing, I tried hard to hang onto the lead group, but if you are not 100% at the Ronde, you have no chance to fight for the victory,” Chavanel said at the finish in Oudenaarde on Sunday.
The 34-year-old Chavanel joined IAM Cycling from Omega Pharma-QuickStep during the off-season and was enjoying his first classics campaign as an outright team leader since 2008.
Although Chavanel has come closest to a big classics win at the Tour of Flanders, where he finished second to Nick Nuyens in 2011, he had made Paris-Roubaix the centrepiece of his spring campaign. His best showing in the Hell of the North came in 2009, when he finished 8th in a race won by then-teammate Tom Boonen.
Chavanel’s place in the IAM Cycling team for Sunday’s race will be taken by Matteo Pelucchi, a stage winner at last month’s Tirreno-Adriatico. Heinrich Haussler, who missed the Tour of Flanders due to a bout of gastroenteritis, is pencilled in to lead the team at Paris-Roubaix.
It is not clear if Chavanel will return to action in time for next week’s Brabantse Pijl, with the IAM Cycling statement noting that his bronchitis “will require rest and the proper treatment.”