Fulgsang a definite non-starter in remaining WorldTour races
Jakob Fuglsang (RadioShack-Nissan) put some of the disappointment of being excluded from the Tour de France team by winning the Tour of Austria. Fulgsang took over the lead from stage two winner Danilo Di Luca (Acqua & Sapone) and held his advantage throughout the remaining stages.
The eight-stage race was Fuglsang’s second Tour victory of the season after winning the Tour of Luxembourg in late May. The stage race win was the first of the year for his RadioShack-Nissan team but after withdrawing prior to the start of the Giro d’Italia, he was increasingly unlikely to be given a Tour de France start.
The Giro had been slotted as Fuglsang’s main objective for the year however knee problems prior to the start of the grand tour meant he was pulled from the line-up. This was the catalyst that sparked the Dane being left out of the Tour roster and with speculation of a return to Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank and unpaid saleries, Bruyneel and Fuglsang became increasingly vocal about the situation.
Fuglsang had voiced his opinion regarding his Tour de France omission and WorldTour exclusion shortly before the start of the Tour and suggested that his decision to leave his current team was becoming easier. Bruyneel has reinforced his position regarding Fuglsang and while it's a shame not to have this talented rider in the roster for the biggest events, his role is, according to Bruyneel "to look out for the best interests of the entire team and organisation."
"I do want to address the fact that Jakob will not ride any more UCI WorldTour races. Let me say this - It's nothing personal against Jakob. It's a decision based on how the UCI has structured the points system. No team is going to invest in a rider (have them gain points) and then have that rider take those points to another team. And if we put a rider who is going to go to another team in a World Tour race, the other riders on the current team also miss out on the opportunity to earn points - so in a sense it's a double punishment against the teams," said Bruyneel on his personal site.
The remaining schedule of racing for Fuglsang is uncertain at this time. He has already been told the Vuelta a España will not be part of his racing program this year.