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"It is a pity that I can't start Milano-Sanremo but I need to accept it. I hope I will be fit in time for Catalunya and in the coming days we will know more."

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17.03.2016 @ 13:16 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tom Dumoulin (NED) will unfortunately not line up for the start of Milano-Sanremo this Saturday due to sickness. He will be replaced by Bert De Backer (BEL). 

Team Giant-Alpecin physician Anko Boelens (NED) explained: "Tom has the flu and with only two days to Milano-Sanremo, we decided it won't be possible for him to race. He is recovering at home and we will monitor his progress closely. We expect Catalunya to be possible but we have to wait and take it day by day."

"It's disappointing for me to miss one of the biggest classics of the season," added Dumoulin. "It started at Paris-Nice. From Saturday to Sunday I had a sore throat and didn't feel completely well during Sunday's closing stage and once home it continued to get worse. It is a pity that I can't start Milano-Sanremo but I need to accept it. I hope I will be fit in time for Catalunya and in the coming days we will know more."

Coach Marc Reef said: "It's very unfortunate that Tom won't be starting on Saturday since he is considered as one of our riders capable of handling the tough finale at Milano-Sanremo. Our plan will change slightly, which means that we will race more opportunistically and the aim is still to bring Simon [Geschke] to the finale as fresh as possible."

For the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, Dumoulin is still part of the team but his condition will be monitored during the next few days and then a decision will be made about his participation.

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