Tour de France: Alex Dowsett left out of Movistar squad after picking up an infection
Last Updated: 01/07/14 2:45pm
Alex Dowsett will not ride the Tour de France after being left out of Movistar’s nine-man team due to illness.
Dowsett had been set to be the only English rider at the race – and one of only five Britons – but developed an infection at the Tour de Suisse earlier this month and has consequently had to be omitted.
In announcing the Spanish team’s line-up on Monday, manager Eusebio Unzue said: “It's so sad for us to leave Dowsett out of the team. Despite his efforts, he couldn't get to his best form due to breathing problems resulting from an infection he suffered.”
Dowsett was due to make his Tour de France debut and only his second appearance at a Grand Tour.
The 25-year-old from Essex had been building up to the race all season and was targeting in particular stage 20’s 54km individual time trial.
A statement from his agent confirmed that Dowsett will now concentrate on the Commonwealth Games at the end of July.
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The statement said: "[He] was taken ill at the recent Tour De Suisse and will not recover in time to be part of the nine-man Movistar team. He is expected to be fully fit for the Commonwealth Games, where he will team-up with Sir Bradley Wiggins."
Movistar’s squad will be led by Alejandro Valverde, who intends to challenge for overall victory. The Spaniard will be supported by a strong team made up of Imanol Erviti, John Gadret, Jesus Herrada, Benat Intxausti, Ion Izagirre, Ruben Plaza, Jose Joaquín Rojas and Giovanni Visconti.
Unzue added: "The goal is fighting for a podium place in Paris with Alejandro, that is clear. He is coming into the race really strong, confident about his chances of achieving that objective, in a route I think suits him pretty well."