Dekker to begin in Qatar and is targeting Tour de France participation
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dekker to begin in Qatar and is targeting Tour de France participation

by VeloNation Press at 7:34 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Garmin-Cervélo rider admits he’s not sure how he will fare

Thomas DekkerNew Garmin-Cervélo signing Thomas Dekker will make his debut in the team’s colours on February 5th in the six day Tour of Qatar, and has set riding the Tour de France as one of his big goals for next year.

The controversial Dutchman was given a green light to join the American ProTeam despite serving a sentence for EPO use. Garmin-Cervélo CEO Jonathan Vaughters has said that he believes the 27 year old is now a clean rider and deserves a second chance.

Dekker spoke about his 2012 programme and goals on the TV programme De Wereld Draait Door [the World Keeps Turning]. He said that he would do the Tour of Oman after Qatar, then compete in the spring Classics. He’s determined to try to secure a place on Garmin-Cervélo’s big team in July. “In the summer I hope to do that Tour de France; you must have ambition,” he explained. “

Somewhat reassuringly, he plays down expectations. “I will no longer be the best rider. I can’t win the Tour de France. I have been out for two years. But to win stages, ride well in the Classics; that is possible.”

He also confesses to some doubts, though, particularly as he has not raced in major events since his return. “It is very difficult. I have no idea where I stand, but I will do everything,” he explained. “I don’t think there’s a problem in riding for others. I’m just glad I’m there.”

During the first part of his career, Dekker won Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour de Romandie, and also won stages in the Tour de Suisse, Tour of Poland, Criterium International and other events. He took top six finishes in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon, Vuelta al Pais Vasco, Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour of Belgium between 2008 and 2009, but all those results were stripped away by the UCI.

His best result with Garmin-Cervélo’s Chipotle development team this year is his victory with Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Vansummeren in the two-up Duo Normand time trial.

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