Marcel Kittel has joined the sick list of those who have had to cancel their appearance in Tirreno-Adriatico. The Giant-Alpecin sprinter is still recovering from a virus he picked up after the Tour Down Under.
Team Sky also announced on Monday that Chris Froome would have to miss the race due to a chest infection.
Kittel's absence means he will not go up against Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), Sam Bennett (Bora Argon 18) and Elia Viviani (Team Sky) in the Tirreno-Adriatico sprints.
Kittel “never quite recovered” from the virus he caught earlier this winter, he said on the team website. “I felt good enough to start the Tour of Qatar but during the race I started to feel worse and worse.” The preparations for the first races combined with the virus and “overreaching” have now led him to a break from the bike.
“I should be back on the bike again soon but at the moment I still have to take it easy,” he said. “Of course I am disappointed but my health and getting back into shape is the first priority now.”
The Giant-Alpecin team noted that Kittel has undergone extensive medical examinations and “thankfully no underlying health issues were discovered.”
The German won his season opener, the Tour Down Under Classic, but was unable to secure any results in either the Tour Down Under or the Tour of Qatar. Giant-Alpecin did not say who would replace him at Tirreno-Adriatico.