Dekker feels damaged

Thomas Dekker feels that his release from Team Rabobank has damaged his image and reputation, and...

Thomas Dekker feels that his release from Team Rabobank has damaged his image and reputation, and made it more difficult for him to find a new team. Not only did the Dutch ProTour team release him in the middle of the season, but press reports of possible blood value problems have added to the difficulties.

"In contrast to football, it is not normal in cycling that a rider and team split in the middle of the season," he said at a press conference over the weekend. Then there were those press reports about his blood. He has consistently denied that such problems existed and gave Cyclingnews a copy of an e-mail from the UCI, declaring him able to ride.

"Logically there are question marks attached to your name in that situation, especially in cycling in the year 2008. I am doing everything I can to prove to potential new teams that there is nothing against me."

As for that potential new team, the 24 year-old said that he is in discussions with several, but will not decide hastily. "I will take my time." Meanwhile, he is still training, although he will not race again this season. "I still ride every day but I am aiming at next year."(SW)

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