British rider Chris Froome will not start Paris-Nice on Sunday as he is still recovering from a chest infection, the Sky team announced on Thursday evening.
The British 2011 Vuelta a Espana runner-up was due to take part in the race alongside Sky team-mates Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte. Froome has been suffering with chest problems since the Tour of the Algarve.
“Chris has not yet recovered from the chest infection he picked up at the Volta ao Algarve,” said Sky team doctor Richard Freeman in a press release.
“He’s improving and it’s nothing serious but by skipping Paris-Nice this gives him ample time to recover.
“The team felt this was the best approach for the rider and he’ll be back to his best in no time.”
Froome will be replaced in Sky’s eight-man line-up for the race by Spaniard Xabier Zandio.
Paris-Nice starts on Sunday, March 4, in Dampierre-en-Yvelines with a punchy 9.4km individual time trial. The race concludes with an uphill time trial from Nice to Col d’Eze on Sunday, March 11.
On paper, the race would have suited Froome’s climbing and time trialling talents that he ably displayed on his way to coming second in the 2011 Vuelta a Espana, the equal highest placing in history of any British rider in a Grand Tour.
Team Sky squad for Paris-Nice 2012
Christian Knees, Danny Pate, Richie Porte, Kanstantsin Siutsou, Geraint Thomas, Rigoberto Uran, Bradley Wiggins and Xabier Zandio.