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Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil-DCM)
Rider must prove his form first, team says
Vancansoleil-DCM's Stijn Devolder is preparing for an assault on the 2012 Tour de France, despite his team management stating that he is far from certain to feature in their squad. Devolder, who is a dual winner of the Tour of Belgium and the Tour of Flanders, will have to prove his form over the next few weeks to secure a berth on the start line.
"He will first have to prove his form," sporting director Hilaire Van Der Schueren told Het Laatste Nieuws. "In the Tour of Belgium and the [Criterium du] Dauphine he will get ample opportunity to do so."
With the likes of Wout Poels, Ron Ruijgh, Johnny Hoogerland Liewe Westra, Marco Marcato and Romain Feillu looking certainties to make the team, Devolder will be battling it out for one of the three remaining spots. The 32-year-old Belgian, whose contract with the team expires at the end of the season, expressed his surprise at Van Der Schueren's comments. He also missed out on selection last year.
"I did assume that I would be at the Tour," he said. "Does this indicate a lack of confidence? Maybe so. But I've seen worse things. I need to get noticed now. If that provides selection, then great."