Eisel: A year without a Tour de France is a lost year

Austrian says he had seen the writing on the wall

Bernhard Eisel will miss out on riding his 10th Tour de France this year, not selected as part of Sky's line-up with the team's focus on shepherding race-favourite Chris Froome through the mountains.

The Austrian admitted his disappointment over the decision.

"As I've said every year: A year without a Tour de France is a lost year," Eisel told Sky Sports. "The last nine years, it has never really affected me. Of course there have been times when it was down to the last minute and you did not know… And this year is the first time that I'm definitely not there."

When it was announced that Eisel would not be a part of Sky's nine-man squad in France, he released a statement explaining that he would instead race at the Tour of Austria for the first time since 2003. The race in Eisel's home country will be held between June 30 and July 7.

Eisel went on to explain that he had been focussed on riding the Tour de France in his preparation.

"The Tour is the toughest bike race in the world and only the best go there," he said. "I've really been in training and preparing everything to be there. And that's why it hurts so much too. But I felt it already in the last few weeks that I'm not going well, when I saw that the guys start to dominate all cycling races in which they are at the start."


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