Dekker confirms he’ll ride Giro in a bid to secure selection for Tour de France
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Friday, April 13, 2012

Dekker confirms he’ll ride Giro in a bid to secure selection for Tour de France

by Shane Stokes at 6:07 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Dutchman ready for first Grand Tour since suspension ended

Thomas DekkerWith his form on the up after his stage victory in the Circuit de la Sarthe, Thomas Dekker has targeted a ride in this year’s Tour de France and, in order to realize that, will compete in the Giro d’Italia.

The Garmin Barracuda rider believes that riding the Italian Grand Tour will give him the chance to build the endurance base and fitness he will need for the Tour de France.

He lacks a solid block of racing as he is still rebuilding his form after serving a lengthy doping suspension.

“I have the goal of riding the Tour this year,” the Dutchman told AD Sportwereld. “To prepare well, I really need the Giro. It is nice that I can start there.”

Dekker was long regarded as one of the most talented of the young Dutch riders. During the early part of his career, he won Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour de Romandie, and also took 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.

However it was announced on July 1st 2009 that a retest of an out of competition sample taken in December 2007 was positive for EPO. Once that result was confirmed by a B-sample, his Silence Lotto team fired him. He was handed a lengthy ban, and also had all of his results from December 24th 2007 removed.

Garmin Barracuda’s Jonathan Vaughters spoke to Dekker on several occasions and gave him the chance to ride with the Continental Chipotle – Sugar Labs team, a feeder squad for Garmin Barracuda.

He said that he believed the rider was genuinely remorseful, and went on to give him a contract with his WorldTour squad. Riding the Giro is the next step in Dekker’s rebuilding of his career, but it’s too soon to say if the Tour is realistic this season.


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