Thomas Dekker to ride Vuelta a España after all
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Monday, August 13, 2012

Thomas Dekker to ride Vuelta a España after all

by VeloNation Press at 6:00 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
First Grand Tour in five years for Garmin-Sharp rider

Thomas DekkerAlthough his management company SEG International stated earlier this month that Thomas Dekker would miss the Vuelta a España, thus further extending the gulf back to his last Grand Tour, the 2007 Tour de France, there has now been a change in plan and he will ride the Spanish race after all.

“I said before that I wouldn't be riding La Vuelta because I already completed a hard program this season but nothing changes as fast as the life of a pro cyclist,” stated Dekker. “To get a bigger engine I will have to ride a Grand Tour sooner or later. The past week showed that my form is good enough to start in La Vuelta.”

The 27 year old rider has been added to the Garmin Sharp roster for the race, which begins next Saturday with a team time trial in Pamplona.

Before then, he will line out in tomorrow’s Clasica San Sebastian. The Vuelta replaces his previously scheduled programme of the Vattenfall Cyclassics and GP Plouay, giving him much more racing at this point of the season and potentially putting him into good shape before the world championships in his home country.

Getting a Grand Tour into his legs after a five year gap is important to help him build back up. Dekker served a lengthy suspension after testing positive for EPO, becoming eligible to compete again on June 30th last year. He signed an agreement to race with the Chipotle-Sugar Labs team, Garmin-Sharp’s development squad, and later finalised a contract to return to the top level with the WorldTour team.

His best results this year were a stage win and fifth overall in the Circuit de la Sarthe in April, and thirteenth on a stage plus in the general classification of the Bayern Rundfahrt. He’s looking forward to a longer, harder race and hewing his muscles back into shape.

“My trainer Adrie van Diemen advised me to take this chance to ride La Vuelta now. I am ambitious before the race,” he said. “My aim is to help the team but also to find out where I stand personally. It's been four years since I did a Grand Tour because my last one was the Tour de France in 2008 [correction: Dekker actually last rode there in 2007 – ed.].

“It will be a hard race in Spain but it will help me further. It's my first time ever in La Vuelta a España and I am really looking forward.”

The rest of the Garmin Sharp line-up will be announced this week.

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