Primož Roglič to miss Ardennes classics with knee injury

Wout van Aert confirms debut at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

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Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) will not race the Ardennes classics this week.

According to a report in Het Nieuwsblad, Roglič will miss Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège as he continues to recover from a knee injury he picked up earlier this month.

The Slovenian rider suffered with his knee injury during the six-day Itzulia Basque Country, where he won the opening time trial but slipped to eighth overall by the final stage.

Rather than push him back into racing, Jumbo-Visma has opted to allow Roglič a longer recovery period, according to Het Nieuwsblad.

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With no Ardennes on his race program anymore, he is now set to head to altitude and won’t race again until June at the Criterium du Dauphiné, his final race ahead of the Tour de France.

It’s not all bad news for Jumbo-Visma, and Wout van Aert confirmed Sunday that he would be riding Liège-Bastogne-Liège for the first time later this week. Van Aert was not originally scheduled to ride La Doyenne but the team added it to his calendar after he was forced to sit out some of the classics after testing positive for COVID-19.

He caught the virus in the days before the Tour of Flanders, where he was the overwhelming favorite, and only returned to racing at last weekend’s Paris-Roubaix. Despite the illness layoff, van Aert put in a strong performance to take second behind race winner Dylan van Baarle in his first visit to the podium at the “Hell of the North.”

With some unexpected time off the bike during the spring, van Aert is hoping to utilize his freshness to pull out a good result in his Liège-Bastogne-Liège debut. He will not ride Flèche Wallonne.

“One has to try to turn a setback into an advantage. I’m more fresh than usual because I didn’t race the last few weeks,” van Aert said in his post-Roubaix press conference Sunday. “If I would feel OK in Roubaix, then we would add Liège to my program. If you finish as runner-up in this race, it’s clear that I’m well recovered.

“I no longer need to worry about what happened. It’s always been a race that I wanted to do. Now we can use this to my advantage to experience how that race is and how far I can get there.”

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