Christophe Le Mevel will not be riding in this year’s Tour de France. It wil be the second year running that the 32-year-old Frenchman has missed his ‘home’ race. However, last year it was planned as he focused on the Giro d’Italia where he finished 14th overall but this time he intentionally missed the Italian race to focus on building for the Tour - something he hasn't done since 2010.
It was a huge disappointment for Le Mevel who has been given a limited calendar of racing this year compared to previous seasons. He will instead ride the seven-day Tour of Poland. His non-selection was in part due to his unspectacular showing at the Critérium du Dauphiné where his 44th place overall was not enough to convince his directors for a start in Liège.
Le Mevel is more familiar with a heavy program of racing, completing nearly 100 days in 2011. This year he has only completed 35 days of racing and has not completed a grand tour since the Vuelta last year, a stark comparison to his previous two seasons in which he has ridden two grand tours.
"I explained the same thing, that I could not be strong in this race because of my lack of competition and my time spent at altitude" he told cyclismactu.net.
There were a mere six days of racing included in Le Mevel's program between March's Paris-Nice and the recent Dauphiné however, he was confident his condition was where it needed to be.
"I had done everything and I think I was quite in the state to be there. It's a real blow" he said.
His contract expires at the end of the season and yet he remains motivated for the remainder of the season, looking to impress his directors enough to be selected for the Vuelta later in the year. For a rider who has finished in the top 15 in each of the grand tours, his participation should be assumed but Le Mevel isn't so sure. The general classification is his goal but getting to the start is his first priority.
"I would like to show that I can win and I am able to be at the front in the mountain stages. But I'll always have the general [classification] in the corner of my mind."
It would seem Le Mevel is destined for a new team next year but this will be largely dependent on his results between now and the end of the season.
"I have nothing concrete but I'm starting to think about it. In the present state of things, I think it's time I'm looking for alternatives to the Garmin-Barracuda [Sharp] team."