2008 was supposed to be Tom Danielson's debut Tour de France, but once again he's had to sit out the race. Last year it was stomach problems, this time he was not been selected by his team due to a delay in returning to top form. Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes spoke to the 30 year-old American about his season, his frustration and his plans for the rest of 2008.
For many of the top riders in the world, the first weekend in July saw the start of their biggest race of the year. For Tom Danielson, though, it was a time of frustration and regret. Sidelined initially last year due to the effects of parasites, then because of a bad crash in the Vuelta a España, the 30 year-old fought to get back into condition.
Danielson's big goal for the season was to ride his first Tour de France. It is also the debut Tour for his team, Garmin-Chipotle, which increases the significance of the race, both on a personal and professional level. However disappointment was to follow with a back problem related to his Vuelta crash delaying his return to form, and he was told that he'd need to ride well in the last big stage race prior to the Tour in order to earn his place.
"The team told me that they really wanted to see me get a strong result overall in the Route du Sud, and if I did, that I would go to the Tour," he said. "If I didn't, I wouldn't be there. I was pretty shocked by it, and I was definitely not 100 percent prepared to do that yet. My body really wasn't 100 percent recovered from my injuries.
"I did the best I could, I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself in the uphill time trial," he added. "I gave it my all but went out a little bit too hard and I was losing a lot of time at the end. I also started getting frustrated."
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