Infirmary report: Sick Sagan will start Tirreno-Adriatico

LA SEYNESURMER FRANCE FEBRUARY 18 Peter Sagan of Slovakia and Team Total Energies reacts after cross the finishing line during the 54th Tour Des Alpes Maritimes Et Du Var 2022 Stage 1 a 176km stage from Saint Raphal to La SeynesurMer TDHV22 on February 18 2022 in La SeynesurMer France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Already twice hit by COVID-19, Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) is, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, suffering from a fever and sore throat but will start Tirreno-Adriatico on Monday after his coronavirus test came back negative.

The 32-year-old is one of many riders hit by injury and illness who are leaving holes in the start lists of upcoming races.

Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal) will support Tim Wellens in Strade Bianche but will not start on Monday in Tirreno-Adriatico. The Belgian is suffering from pain in his ribs after a crash in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

"I strongly believe in the chances of my teammate Tim Wellens and would therefore like to assist him on Saturday. Afterwards, I will return to Belgium to train," he said to Het Laatste Nieuws. Campenaerts will race at the Bredene Koksijde Classic on March 18, instead.

Strade Bianche is already missing two past winners with Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) still rehabilitating a back injury, and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) opting instead to race Paris-Nice.

There were more strikethroughs on the provisional start list come Friday, with Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers), Romain Bardet (DSM), Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe), Jan Maas (BikeExchange-Jayco), and Jacopo Mosca (Trek-Segafredo) all out with illness.

COVID-19 has continued to hit both men's and women's pelotons. Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) reportedly tested positive on Friday. Lizzie Banks (EF-Tibco-SVB) still recovering from a coronavirus infection and is out for this weekend. She said on social media she hopes to restart her season at Nokere Koerse. Brodie Chapman (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine) is also out of Strade Bianche because of the virus.

Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost) is out of Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo after being weakened by a COVID-19 infection, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. The Italian suffers from ulcerative colitis and took a hit from the virus. He hopes to return for Milano-Torino on March 16 with an eye toward Tour of Flanders, which he won in 2019.

Tim Declercq (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl), who has been out with pericarditis as a result of COVID-19, has been given the green light to resume training on Friday after almost three weeks off the bike. He said earlier this week has has a "small chance" of being fit in time for Paris-Roubaix.

"I've made a full recovery and have no more pain, so I can get back to work. Depending on my condition, there may be a very, very small chance that I will still make it to Paris-Roubaix," Declercq said, even though the race is a week later after swapping dates with Amstel Gold because of French elections.

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