Hushovd out of Volta a Catalunya due to illness

Thor Hushovd's plan was to ride Milan-San Remo and the Volta a Catalunya as warm-ups for his first season highlights early next month, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. It hasn't worked out that way, as illness has forced a change in the planning.

The BMC Racing Team rider suffered through Paris-Nice with the stomach problems that affected so much of the peloton. Then, instead of heading to Italy, he headed towards bed with fever and chills.

“Obviously this is not very favorable,” his personal coach Atle Kvålsvoll told

The former world champion is feeling better and in fact resumed light training over the weekend, but it is too early to start racing again in Catalunya. “He has started training but it is not prudent to let him ride a stage race in the condition he is in,” Kvålsvoll said.

Instead of Italy and Spain, Hushovd will head directly to Belgium, and will  take on the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke on Friday and Gent -Wevelgem on Sunday.

“It is of course undesirable to change the race program so late,” Kvålsvoll admitted. “We would rather have done without this illness.”

Kvålsvoll still thinks Hushovd has good a chance to finally take his long-hoped-for win in Paris-Roubaix.  “If he trains well, gets through the races in Belgium and has another week of good training, he should still be well prepared. We'll see when we come to Flanders.”

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