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Steegmans out of Paris-Roubaix

Gert Steegmans will not ride in Paris-Roubaix because of the continuing after-effects of a crash two weeks ago. The Quick Step rider injured his back when he crashed in Dwars door Vlaanderen and landed on a tractor. He is still in a lot of pain, the team noted, and the decision was made in consultation with the medical staff.

"It's a very serious problem, which made it impossible to participate," the 27-year-old said. "Yesterday I had a constant pain during Gent-Wevelgem. Therefore I decided, together with my medical staff, to drop out."

"It's a pity for the team," said team manager Patrick Lefevere. "Gert is an excellent rider for Paris-Roubaix, but we may not take any risks. That's way we took this decision. The medical tests of the next days have to prove what is causing the pain. With the right treatments he will be back soon."

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