Fever sidelines Valverde in Paris-Nice
03 March 2017

Last-minute absence

Illness prevents Spaniard from seeking victory in France after Andalucía success. Rojas debuts in Strade Bianche as Bennati DNS due to sickness; Quintana back in Larciano

Alejandro Valverde will eventually skip Sunday's start of the 75th edition of Paris-Nice. The Movistar Team will be unable to travel to northern France due to a virus causing him fever during the last few hours.

Valverde was heading into the 'Course to the Sun' five years after his third-place finish in 2012 -also including a stage win and the points jersey-, looking forward to contest the overall victory and increase his 100-pro-win account from last month's Vuelta a Andalucía GC triumph. 'Bala' will be replaced by Víctor de la Parte, the Basque climber completing the definitive, official Blue roster alongside the Herrada brothers, Sutherland, Erviti, Anacona, Soler and Gorka Izagirre.

Bennati ill, absent in Siena; Rojas comes back

A second replacement for this weekend's racing comes as Daniele Bennati, also sick, will not be part of the Blues' Strade Bianche roster. At the Italian race, José Joaquín Rojas will make his 2017 racing debut, almost six months after his serious leg injuries in the Vuelta a España. The former Spanish road race champion will also be present at the GP Larciano (Sunday 5), where Nairo Quintana will warm up for Tirreno-Adriatico next week. Jorge Arcas, Carlos Barbero, Carlos Betancur, Nuno Bico, Richard Carapaz and Antonio Pedrero complete the eight-man lineup for Sunday.