Cavendish, Vanmarcke out of Roubaix with injuries

Cavendish has won Scheldeprijs three times, while he was due to start just his third edition of Paris-Roubaix on Sunday.

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PARIS (AFP) — Sprint star Mark Cavendish will miss Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix due to an ankle injury, his Dimension Data team announced Wednesday.

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The 31-year-old finished 30th in the “Hell of the North” last year and was due to ride the grueling race for only the third time this weekend.

The 30-time Tour de France stage winner will now take some rest before targeting more success at the grand boucle in July.

“Mark sustained an overuse injury of his right ankle while competing at the Tirreno-Adriatico race. The injury was thought to be resolving but has unfortunately flared up again during training,” said Dimension Data’s team doctor Jarrad Van Zuydam.

“Further investigation and treatment is necessary over the coming days to resolve the injury before Mark returns to racing.”

Cavendish will also miss Wednesday’s Paris-Roubaix warm-up race Scheldeprijs, which the Manxman has won three times.

Also missing Paris-Roubaix will be Cannondale-Drapac rider Sep Vanmarcke, who crashed out of last weekend’s Tour of Flanders with road rash and a broken finger. The Belgian has twice finished third at Flanders, and in 2013 he rode to second at Roubaix.

“My hands are the biggest problem,” said Vanmarcke, who finished fourth at Roubaix in 2014 and 2016. “The broken pinky on my right hand makes it impossible to put my hands on top of the bars. I can put them on the brakes, and I can brake with two fingers. But each time I hit a bump or anything, it’s painful.

“The larger problem is my left hand, because the skin is off every finger. I cannot brake with that hand — it’s just too painful to put the pressure on it. Also, my right knee is still a problem. It would make no sense to be at the start line. I lost a lot of skin off it.”

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