Back injury forces Chris Froome out of next week's Tirreno-Adriatico
Richie Porte will lead Team Sky in Italian race, Geraint Thomas to lead at Paris-Nice
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team’s line-up for forthcoming races also means that Sir Bradley Wiggins misses today’s Strade Bianche, where he has been replaced by Ben Swift.