Declercq out of Opening Weekend with heart issue

OUDENAARDE BELGIUM APRIL 04 Tim Declercq of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Edoardo Affini of Italy and Team Jumbo Visma Silvan Dillier of Switzerland and Team AlpecinFenix The Peloton passing through Kortekeer during the 105th Ronde van Vlaanderen Tour of Flanders 2021 Mens Elite a 2515km race from Antwerp to Oudenaarde RVV21 rondevanvlaanderen tourofflanders on April 04 2021 in Oudenaarde Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Tim Declercq lining out the peloton in the Tour of Flanders 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The sight of the tall, powerful figure of Tim Declercq stringing out the peloton has been a fixture of the Classics for several years, but the rider voted as the world's best domestique for two years running will not be with QuickStep-AlphaVinyl this Opening Weekend after being diagnosed with an inflammation of the lining of the heart, pericarditis.

Declercq wrote on Instagram that he began having symptoms during the Volta ao Algarve last week and has been given time off the bike as a precaution by the team doctors.

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