Astana technical manager Walter Godefroot will not attend the Tour de France start in London and plans to leave his position with the Swiss-registered team after the race finishes. Godefroot will follow the Tour's stages through Belgium from the Astana team car, health permitting.
"I am currently struggling with violent back pains," Godefroot told the Belga news agency. "I have already been to a chiropracter and a doctor for this. I am experiencing too much pain to travel to London for the start of the Tour de France."
The 63 year-old Belgian has recently faced a series of accusations from Jörg Jaksche and other former Team Telekom riders alleging that he was fully aware of a well-established doping system within the team during the 1990s. However, Godefroot, who has denied any knowledge of riders doping, said he always planned to leave Astana once the team was running smoothly.
"I always said I would withdraw as soon as the team was on the rails," he said. "My work is to end and I leave behind a beautiful team. What does the future hold for me? Firstly to cure my back pain, then we will see later on."