Froome out of Tirreno-Adriatico

Tour de France winner Chris Froome has withdrawn from Tirreno-Adriatico due to joint inflammation in the lower back, Team Sky have confirmed.

Australian Richie Porte has moved from Team Sky's Paris-Nice line-up to replace the Briton, with Geraint Thomas taking over as team leader at the French event.

Team Sky's Dr Alan Farrell told "Chris has suffered a slight inflammation to the sacroiliac joint in the lower back.

"As a precaution, we have chosen to withdraw him from next week's Tirreno-Adriatico so he can focus on recovering and preparing for the Volta a Catalunya."

Froome took to Twitter to express his disappointment at missing out, but accepted it was the right decision.

He posted: "Slight inflammation in my lower back, so I'll be putting my feet up for a few days on doctors orders. No racing for me in Tirreno next week.

"It's disappointing to miss out on a week of solid racing, but rather safe than sorry at this point of the season."

Team Sky performance manager Rod Ellingworth added: "This is just a minor setback for Chris and we hope he will get back to full training within a week.

"He's obviously disappointed to miss Tirreno-Adriatico but we shouldn't take any chances at this stage of the season."