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Mads Pedersen is a late-hour replacement for Trek-Segafredo in the season’s first monument, which Stuyven won last year in a daring attack.
“Getting sick at this time of the season is a big disappointment,” Stuyven said. “Of course, I was excited to race with the number 1 on my back after winning my first monument last year. I thought I had safely got through Paris-Nice, but obviously I picked something up there. For me, the focus is now on getting healthy before the upcoming cobbled classics.”
The late change means Pedersen will race Milan-San Remo for the first time.
“As I said in many interviews last week, it wasn’t the plan for me to race Milan-San Remo, but sometimes plans change,” Pedersen said. “It’s a late change, but I’m feeling motivated and know that my shape is good. Of course, it’s a big pity for Jasper that he doesn’t get the chance to defend his title, but we will do our best to make it two in a row for the team.”