Leif Hoste of Omega Pharma-Lotto will not be in the Nokere Koerse race due to his back pain. An incident in the Tirreno-Adriatico left the rider to be in continuous pain. Omega Pharma-Lotto will continue to ride with a seven-man squad.
The Belgian news agency, Belga, reports that Hoste will postpone his attending the Dwars door Vlaanderen on March 24. It would seem that Hoste was feeling better but the pain came back and has continued to be a burden for the cyclist.
Hendrik Redant, Omega Phram directeur sportif, feels that Hoste should not push himself to race immediately. He also stressed that they have no choice but to go ahead and compete with only seven men because it was also already too late to get someone to sub for Hoste.
Graeme Brown of Rabobank will be coming back to Nokere Koerse to defend his title and further hope to make two successive wins to his name. He opened his season with the Bay Classics last January before competing in the Tour Down Under.