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Van Avermaet out, Silence-Lotto medical update

By Susan Westemeyer

The equilibrium problems that kept Silence-Lotto's Greg Van Avermaet out of the weekend's races continue to keep him sidelined. He will not start Wednesday in Le Samyn, nor will he be able to ride Paris-Nice, which starts on Sunday.

The 22 year-old is suffering from a middle-ear infection which affects his sense of balance. He has started training again, but does not feel totally fit. "It improves a little every day," he told "But it is going slowly and the team doesn't want to take any chances with me." He later told that "riding on the road doesn't work yet," but hopes to be able to ride in Tirreno-Adriatico.

In other news from the Silence-Lotto sick bay, Bart Dockx is home from the hospital after surgery on his broken hip, but team doctor Daniel De Neve expects him to be out for 10 weeks. Wim Vansevenant is recovering from muscle problems, and is also expected to start in Tirreno-Adriatico, as is Robbie McEwen who has recovered from a viral infection. The news is not so good for Bert Roesems, who is still coping with a broken hip suffered in the Vuelta a España. And Glenn D'Hollander is out of action following a sinus operation.