Chris Sutton will replace Edvald Boasson Hagen in Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad after Boasson Hagen was forced to pull out of the race with a cold.
Boasson Hagen, who claimed his first stage victory of the season at the Volta ao Algarve last week, began to feel unwell after returning home to Norway and has been withdrawn from the race in order to speed up his recovery.
The 24 year old is set to return at Tirreno-Adriatico, which runs between 7-13 March, and Sutton will take his place in Saturday’s squad before defending his Kurrne-Bruxelles-Kuurne title 24 hours later.
Boasson Hagen said: “After the Volta ao Algarve finished I flew back home to Norway and didn’t feel good when I was training. The cold had got into my lungs and after talking with the doctor we decided the best thing was to miss this weekend.
“It’s disappointing because Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is a race I enjoy, but it’s good that I’ve got this cold out of the way sooner rather than later. It would have been worse if it had come before the Tour of Flanders, or Paris-Roubaix, and I’ll be able to build my form back up at Tirreno-Adriatico before the Monuments begin.”
Race Coach Rod Ellingworth added: “It’s unfortunate Edvald has picked up this bug because his form was really good in Portugal last week and he was looking forward to the race.
“There’s never an ideal time to pick up an illness like this, but he’ll be back for Tirreno and a good week there should stand him in good stead for an important phase in his season.
"In CJ we have a ready-made replacement and he was with the team anyway ahead of Kurrne-Bruxelles-Kuurne on Sunday. He's looking fit and lean, and is motivated to ride well this weekend after taking the title in Kuurne last year. ”