By Shane Stokes
With Garmin Chipotle H3O leaving him off its Tour de France squad due to a delay in him returning to his best form, a disappointed Tom Danielson has returned to Boulder, Colorado, and will target USA races for much of the rest of the season.
The 30 year-old will ride events such as the Cascade Classic, the Tour of Utah, the Tour of Colorado, the USPRO championships and Tour of Missouri. He is then likely to return to Europe in the autumn.
USA's Danielson has had a tough and frustrating time for over a year. He had stomach problems caused by two parasites, was treated for those but then crashed out of the Vuelta a España on the opening day. Although his shoulder damage was treated, a herniated disc has further complicated his return to top form.
He had a light spring schedule as a result, yet thought that he was still on track for his first-ever Tour de France start. This will not be the case now.
"It wasn't until a small race in Portugal that I realised that the goal I thought I was working towards, the Tour de France, was now in jeopardy," he said on his website tomdanielson.com. "My progress was not enough for my team and I was told needed to show something quickly in Route du Sud or I wasn't going.
"I poured on the pressure and really wanted to show my team I was back to my winning ways. The uphill time-trial was the perfect chance for me and I entered the race so excited to show I was back. I started incredibly strong and had a very fast time going, as this sort of event is my specialty. At the second time check I was ahead of the best time at the moment.
"[However] with only four kilometres remaining my body just shut down. I clearly went out too hard and became extremely frustrated. I took that into the next two days of the race and rode strong for my team-mate Dan [Martin], helping him win the overall."
Danielson feels that he would have ridden into form if he had got the nod for his big season goal. "While I understood I wasn't performing at my best level, I was hoping at least I could go and help out the team at the Tour," he stated. "I have a solid record of performances in Grand Tours and I truly believe I could have accomplished amazing things at the TDF. I can confidently say I've never felt better in training and I've shown in the longer races that I've improved day after day."
Cyclingnews will publish an interview with Tom Danielson soon.