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Belgian riders Kobe Goossens and Rune Herregodts resign to a participation in the Tour de France

Belgian riders Belges Kobe Goossens and Rune Herregodts, who were part of the roster of Intermarché-Circus-Wanty for the Tour de France, won't participate to the 110th edition starting on Saturday 1st of July. The preparation of both was disturbed since their respective abandons in the Tour de Romandie and the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Currently, Kobe Goossens is recovering from an infection and has to postpone his return into competition, with Rune Herregodts preparing the Belgian championships time trial (Thursday) and road race (Sunday).

“Two months ago I had to abandon the Tour de Romandie because of illness. I took a break of two weeks and consequently couldn’t join the team in altitude training camp. I then started my preparation for the Tour de France, however, we soon noticed that my recovery wasn’t going as usual and that I was unable to do qualitative training session. Following this disturbed preparation, my goals of winning a stage and supporting Louis Meintjes as good as possible became unrealistic scenarios. That’s why we took the decision, together with my trainer Frederik Veuchelen and Aike Visbeek, to take time to fully recover and not participate to the Tour de France. Mentally, it won’t be easy to see my teammates leaving to Bilbao without me, but my experience learned me that a complete recovery is priority if I want to shine in the rest of the season, on the roads of La Vuelta a España for example.”

“In May I joined the preselection for the Tour de France in their altitude training camp to prepare my next goals. This stimulated my desire to conquer a spot in the selection. Participating in the Tour was a realistic scenario if all pieces of the puzzle fell into place. My build up was going very well, until my abandon in the penultimate stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné caused personal doubts. Since then, my slow recovery didn’t allow me to do the necessary training sessions to complete the final preparation for my first Grand Tour. Knowing that other riders of the team are 100% ready, we decided together with Aike Visbeek and my trainer Frederik Veuchelen to concentrate on the Belgian championships, like initially planned.” “My ambition is to finish on the podium of the Belgian time trial championship. The medals will be highly contested, I know. I hope to benefit from my condition of the Critérium du Dauphiné and of my freshness to produce a good performance. In my preparation we didn’t leave anything to chance. I did several course recons with Dimitri Claeys. Our head mechanic Mikey van Kruiningen invested a lot of energy in the optimization of my equipment and my position. I have a lot of confidence in them, these efforts already bore fruit in the time trial in the Dauphiné.”

"It is a big disappointment for our team that the preparation of Kobe Goossens and Rune Herregodts for the Tour de France was disturbed by health issues. Kobe was an important element to achieve our goals of winning a stage and helping Louis Meintjes to finish in the top ten of the final classification. He's a precious teammate. After missing him in the Dauphiné, his absence in the Tour is a serious setback for us." "Rune Herregodts, who was planned to make his Grand Tour debut in the Giro until he got sick, was added to our preparation programme for the Tour de France. He participated to the altitude team camp and then showed himself in the Tour of Norway and the Critérium du Dauphiné. Unfortunately, the final straight in his preparation was disturbed by health issues and a forced abandon in the Critérium du Dauphiné. Together with Rune and his trainer Frederik Veuchelen we have chosen to not take risks and not send him to such a demanding race without adequate preparation. After the Belgian Championships, we will focus on a build up towards the Tour of Spain."

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