Robbie McEwen has decided not to ride Sunday?s Tour of Flanders after struggling with back problems and coming down with a stomach bug on Wednesday.

The Predictor sprinter recovered from bronchitis to win the opening stage of Tirreno-Adriatico and finish fourth in Milan-San Remo in March but has since been struggling with a back problem. He was forced to retire from Dwars door Vlaanderen after a hundred kilometres of racing last Wednesday and decided to miss E3 Harelbeke on Saturday and this week?s Three Days of La Panne in the hope of recovering for the Tour of Flanders on Sunday. His chiropractor had done wonders to get him back and he trained on the route of the first stage of La Panne on Tuesday but then he came down with an intestinal virus on Wednesday.

?Robbie has got back problems after crashing in Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo but he also has a intestinal problem. He was unable to train on Wednesday and as a result he decided that he won?t ride on Sunday,? Predictor team manager Marc Sergeant told Belgian television.

?He may be able to be back for Ghent-Wevelgem on Wednesday and Paris-Roubaix on Sunday but we?re going to take things day by day.?

Predictor were already struggling to be competitive against big Belgian rival Quick Step and now have only Leif Hoste as leader of the team for the Tour of Flanders.

For further details on the Predictor-Lotto team, see their official website:www.davitamon-lotto.com/

There will be full coverage, breaking news and interviews from both the men’s and women’s Tour of Flanders over the Easter holidays here at www.cyclingweekly.co.uk.