Team Sky have withdrawn Colombian rider Sergio Henao from competition for a second time after he was told he faces further investigation into his blood values by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation.
Henao, who missed three months owing to a similar probe in 2014, has not failed a drug test and had been due to ride in Wednesday's La Fleche Wallone classic in Belgium.
“We believe in Sergio,” said Sir Dave Brailsford, the British outfit’s principal. “He has just come back to full fitness after spending eight months recovering from a potentially career-ending crash. But we respect the CADF process and will apply our team policy in the circumstances.”
In Henao’s absence Spaniard Alejandro Valverde underlined his dominance of La Fleche Wallone by winning the race for a third year in a row and a fourth time in total. Irishman Dan Martin, of Etixx – Quick-Step, was third.
Britain’s Mark Cavendish, meanwhile, assumed the overall lead in the Tour of Croatia by winning stage two with a trademark sprint finish. The Team Dimension Data rider has the same time as Italian Giacomo Nizzolo of Trek – Segafredo.