Lotto Soudal rider Tiesj Benoot has opted to tick to his original schedule and will therefore miss the Paris-Roubaix as he prepares for the Ardennes Classics.
Benoot has enjoyed a great spring, winning the Strade Bianche and placing fifth, seventh and eighth at the E3 Harelbeke, Dwars door Vlaanderen and Tour of Flanders respectively.
The Belgian’s light physique and climbing strength makes him a contender for further glory at the Ardennes, so he will head to Spain’s Sierra Nevada for training rather than ride the prestigious race in Northern France.
"I need to charge the batteries a bit and train quietly," Het Nieuwsblad quote Benoot. "I want to be good until Liège-Bastogne-Liège. That is why I keep my original programme and do not suddenly drive Paris-Roubaix."
Benoot's absence means Lotto Soudal are without a team leader for Paris-Roubaix, with Andre Greipel and Jens Keukeleire out due to a fractured collarbone and respiratory infection respectively.
It is hoped that Jens Debusschere or Jasper de Buyst can step up to the mark for the team.
"We will do it like Quick Step: whoever is the best, has to drive in front," team manager Marc Sergeant said.