Kirchen out of Ronde van Vlaanderen

By Susan Westemeyer

The Ronde van Vlaanderen was supposed to be one of the major season highlights for Team High Road's Kim Kirchen, but the Luxemburger will not ride the race, it was announced this week. He has joined the list of High Road riders who have suffered from health problems this young season.

According to, Kirchen, who last year finished seventh overall in the Tour de France, came down with a cold about a month ago and lost too much training time to be able to participate in the Ronde. Instead, he will ride the Critérium International this weekend, followed by the Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco.

"His full focus now will be on Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège," High Road spokeswoman Kristy Scrymgeour told Cyclingnews.

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