Spain’s David Arroyo (Caisse d’Epargne) has confirmed he will target the Vuelta a España and so miss the Tour de France after his surprise second place at the Giro d’Italia.
Arroyo announced the news after returning home to Talavera de la Reina near Toledo, where was given a special award by the local mayor. Arroyo was only the ninth Spaniard in history to finish on the Giro d’Italia podium. He wore the pink jersey for five days, and eventually finished 1:51 behind Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo).
"I am very happy with the second place at the Giro. I'm still taking in what I managed to achieve, and I have to thank everyone who helped me," he told the Spanish news agency EFE.
Arroyo lost the race lead to Basso on the stage 19 to Aprica, despite diving down the descent of the Mortirolo and nearly closing the gap to the leaders.
"I was not aware of the dangers on the descent. I was just trying to keep the pink jersey and reduce the time gap. It was only after that, I realised how dangerous the descent was.”
Arroyo will now take a break from racing and then ride the three-day Vuelta a Madrid in mid-July before preparing for the Tour of Spain that begins in Seville on August 28.
"I’ll start my preparation for the Vuelta a España in July and ride the Vuelta a Madrid, so that I’ll be ready for September,” he said.
With Alejandro Valverde now facing a global suspension for doping and Arroyo targeting the Vuelta, the Caisse d’Epargne team will have Luis Leon Sanchez as team leader for the Tour de France. Like many of his teammates, Arroyo gave his support to Valverde.
"We all hope that he is not eventually sanctioned and continues to win. All the team is with him," Arroyo said.
Caisse d’Epargne will end its sponsorship of the team this year but Arroyo confirmed he will speak to team manager Eusebio Unzue before accepting any other offer.