Cyril Dessel (AG2R-La Mondiale) has been forced to withdraw from the Tour de San Luis in Argentina after he was diagnosed with acute prostatitis.
“It’s annoying because I had prepared myself well this winter and I had ambitions for the races at the start of the season,” Dessel said. “In spite of that I remain convinced that I can have a fine season, I just need to take care of myself properly now so as not to have any further problems.”
To that end, Dessel will now spend 45 days off the bike as he makes his recovery. The Frenchman, who wore the yellow jersey in the 2006 Tour de France and won a stage two years later, is set to focus his energies on the Giro d’Italia in 2011. In spite of this setback, he is confident that he will be on form in May.
“My objective is still the Giro, and I’m glad that I’ve encountered this problem now rather than a week before the race,” Dessel said. “This still leaves me time to build up to the Giro d’Italia and the races that follow it. Even though it’s a hard blow, I know that everything isn’t lost and I remain focused.”
Dessel will be replaced in the AG2R squad for the Tour de San Luis by Luxembourg rider Ben Gastauer. The race gets underway on January 17.
AG2R team for Tour de San Luis: Julien Berard, Guillaume Bonnafond, Ben Gastauer, Sébastien Hinault, David Le Lay, Matteo Montaguti.