Pierre Rolland (Europcar) has confirmed that he will sit out Paris-Nice due to a nagging knee injury. The Frenchman sustained a lesion to cartilage in his patella when he banged his right knee against his stem during the Tour du Haut Var and his recovery has proved more complicated than first anticipated.
“I’m very disappointed not to be able to take part in Paris-Nice it was an important objective for my season,” Rolland told his team’s website.
A training ride on Wednesday confirmed what Rolland had already suspected, and he was forced to pull out of Paris-Nice. “I went for a ride and it hurt,” he explained succinctly.
While the extent of Rolland’s injury appears quite minor, he admitted that he was perplexed by the lack of improvement in the condition of his knee. “It seemed bizarre to me that there’s been no progress after ten days,” he said.
After attempting to coax his way back into action over the past week, Rolland will now rest completely in a bid to hasten the healing process. “Every day that I ride is a day lost in my rehabilitation,” Rolland pointed out.
After beginning his season on a high with a stage victory at Étoile de Bèsseges, Rolland must now spend a frustrating spell on the sidelines. “These things always happen when you feel good and never when you want a rest,” he said.
It remains to be seen when Rolland will return to competitive action, but after taking the white jersey and the stage to l’Alpe d’Huez last year, the Tour de France will again be the centrepiece of his season.
“It’s better that this happens now than in three months’ time,” said Europcar directeur sportif Dominique Arnould.