Chris Froome has been forced to withdraw from next week’s Tirreno-Adriatico due to a back injury, with Richie Porte now leading Team Sky’s challenge in the week-long Italian stage race, which begins on Wednesday.
The British WorldTour outfit’s doctor, Alan Farrell, told the Team Sky website: “Chris has suffered a slight inflammation to the sacroiliac joint in the lower back.
“As a precaution we have chosen to withdraw him from next week’s Tirreno-Adriatico so he can focus on recovering and preparing for the Volta a Catalunya.”
Froome, runner-up to Astana's Vincenzo Nibali in last year's Tirreno-Adriatico, said on Twitter: “Slight inflammation in my lower back, so I’ll be putting my feet up for a few days on doctors orders. No racing for me in Tirreno next week.
“It’s disappointing to miss out on a week of solid racing, but rather safe than sorry at this point of the season.”
Team Sky performance manager, Rod Ellingworth, said: “This is just a minor setback for Chris and we hope he will get back to full training within a week.
“He’s obviously disappointed to miss Tirreno-Adriatico but we shouldn’t take any chances at this stage of the season.”
Porte had been due to begin his defence of his Paris-Nice title tomorrow, but Froome’s injury means he will now ride in Italy. Instead, Geraint Thomas will be Team Sky’s leader in France.
The reshuffling of the team’s line-up for forthcoming races also means that Sir Bradley Wiggins misses today’s Strade Bianche, where he has been replaced by Ben Swift.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.