Kwiatkowski out of Volta ao Algarve due to illness

Team Sky has confirmed that Michal Kwiatkowski will not start the Volta ao Algarve after being hit by a last-minute stomach bug.

The former world champion was set to lead Team Sky in the Portuguese stage race that starts Wednesday but that role will now rest solely on Geraint Thomas' shoulders. Riding alongside Thomas in Portugal are Michal Golas, Sebastian Henao, David Lopez, Ian Stannard, Lars Petter Nordhaug and Salvatore Puccio.

In the absence of Kwiatkowski, Team Sky will start with just eight riders instead of the expected nine riders. Kwiatkowski was due to ride Paris-Nice but his race programme could be reshuffled after missing the Volta ao Algarve.

Team Sky has seen several of its new signings hit by illness in the early part of the season. A few days ago the British team confirmed that Mikel Landa would not make his season debut at the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol, which starts today in the south of Spain.

The Basque rider Tweeted that illness had delayed his preparation and that he was not at 100 per cent. He was replaced by Nicolas Roche in the team’s line-up.

Fellow Spaniard Beñat Intxausti is also out of Team Sky’s line-up for the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol. He rode well at the recent Volta a Valencia, finishing second at the Xorret de Catí climb behind Wout Poels and third overall behind his teammate but has come down with a cold.

Poels leads Team Sky in the Spanish stage race. World time trial champion Vasil Kiryienka will race in his rainbow jersey on the stage 4 time trial, with Christian Knees, Gianni Moscon, Roche and lead sprinter Ben Swift completing the seven-man squad.

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