Brice Feillu: “I expected to miss the Tour but no regrets over leaving Vacansoleil”
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Brice Feillu: “I expected to miss the Tour but no regrets over leaving Vacansoleil”

by Ben Atkins at 6:16 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Leopard Trek’s French rider not in team’s line-up after injury hit season

brice feilluAlthough the full Leopard Trek team for next month’s Tour is yet to be announced, there is one rider that knows for certain that he will not be at the start on July 2nd, according to l’Equipe. Brice Feillu is the Luxembourg team’s one and only French rider, but, after an injury hit season that saw him abandon the Critérium du Dauphiné, this is not enough to get him included in the squad for his national tour.

Reportedly, the place that Feillu might have had has been taken by Dutchman Joost Posthuma.

“This is what I understand,” he told the French sportspaper. “I will only do the Tour if a rider is injured. I had a feeling I wouldn’t be going after a succession of injuries. I told the leaders that I was improving; I told them I was super motivated and everything, but while I was stopped, they evidently looked at the other riders. I think there have been thirteen for a long time that they had to get down to nine. But now, although it's obviously not easy to take this selection, I expected it.”

Feillu joined Vacansoleil in 2010, along with elder brother Romain, as part of the Dutch team’s bid to appeal to the Tour de France organisers and secure an invitation. Having secured ProTeam status this year, Vacansoleil-DCM has an automatic invitation to the race; the irony is not lost on Feillu that if he had not left the team he would likely be riding the Tour next month.

“I left Vacansoleil, and Vacansoleil finds itself at the Tour,” he concurred. “It’s good for them, but I don’t regret it at all. I have a contract with Leopard until 2012 and I don’t think at all about leaving; the atmosphere is good here.

“The Tour is a dream, that’s clear, but it won’t kill me if I don’t go,” he added. “I was lucky to start the Tour with Agritubel in my first year; but teams like Agritubel, there aren’t many…”

In 2009 he rode the Tour with the French team and managed to take one of the queen stages of the race on the mountaintop finish at Andorra-Ordino/Arcalis.

This year though, the French climber will probably be riding a somewhat less prestigious race, and so he is looking forward to the prospect of the year’s final Grand Tour.

“If not the Tour de France, then there is the Tour of Austria; it will surely be on my programme in July. Well, of course, there is less media coverage because it is right in the middle of the Tour de France. After that, I think I could do something at the Vuelta [a España]. I’ve always thought that, in three-week races, if I don’t have too many ‘jours sans’, I could do something.

“So maybe one day, maybe day ten or fifteen, that would be feasible.”

As he rides in Austria Feillu will no doubt be wishing brother Romain luck, as he rides the Tour for his former squad.

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