Tour de France: Martin Velits to Replace Injured Vandenbergh
Stijn Vandenbergh, one of the nine riders originally selected to compete in the 2012 Tour de France, will be unable to participate. The Belgian rider selected for La Grande Boucle is suffering from a saddle sore.
"I had this problem in the last 10 days, and it was almost solved," Vandenbergh said. "But Sunday's national championship exacerbated the problem. Together with the medical staff of the team, we decided not to take risks. This is why I will not participate in the Tour. I am really sad, but I think there are no other solutions. I have to think also about the team. I don't want to start, not knowing how I would be during the race. The Tour is a demanding race, and you need nine riders completely ready and healthy for the fight. I hope the guys will have a great Tour de France, and that they can fight for prestigious results."
Vandenbergh will be replaced by Martin Velits at his first Tour de France experience.
"It is a shame for Vandenbergh" Velits says. "I can imagine how he is feeling now. I know how difficult it is to train and be ready for a race and then be forced to not participate because of an injury. That is why I will give it all for the team and for him at the next Tour. I am ready, am in good condition and am really looking forward to my first Tour de France."