Sylvain Chavanel was forced to abandon the Tour de France on Monday having struggled with a chest infection for the better part of a week. The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider has revealed however that convincing his team of the severity of his illness proved difficult.
"I had the impression that Omega Pharma-Quick Step did not believe that I am sick," Chavanel told L'Equipe.
"I'm disappointed because I wanted to ride all the way to Paris in preparation for the Olympics. The last few days I had the impression that some did not believe I was sick. I heard here and there the accusation that I'm only going home to better prepare for the Olympics."
According to Chavanel, some were under the impression that his illness was only in his head, all the while he was suffering with a temperature of 38 degrees.
"And those are the same people who had earlier been in my room to come and congratulate me on my perseverance. I do not like the hypocrisy."
Chavanel has been on his current course of antibiotics for three days. He will continue to rest until the end of the week before making a decision on when to return to training and then, if he will be fit for the Olympics.
"... Laurent Jalabert, our coach, understands the situation and has sent me a text message to let me know that I've taken the right decision," he said.