On the eve of the Critérium du Dauphiné, Vacansoleil-DCM sporting director Hilaire Van Der Schueren has reiterated his stance that Stijn Devolder is running out of time to prove himself worthy of one of the team's berths at the Tour de France and stated that the seven-stage race that starts in Grenoble today represents his last chance to force his way into the team's plans.
Van Der Schueren once again criticised Devolder's poor recent form. The two-time Tour of Flanders winner has yet to win a race in the colours of Vacansoleil since his move there from QuickStep ahead of the 2011 season. With the Tour less than four weeks away and his contract with the team due to expire at the end of the season, it can be argued that the Dauphine is the most important race Devolder has competed in over the last 18 months or so. His future is on the line here and with the team performing so well at the Giro d'Italia without him, there is a huge question mark hanging over his head.
Asked about the possibilty of Devolder lining up at the Tour Van Der Schueren said in Het Nieuwsblad: "I'd rather have a tough boy who is performing. Based on the results, we cannot possibly be satisfied. And for that reason he might not qualify for the Tour unless the Dauphiné offers some clarity.
"I have made it clear to him several times that he must show me he still exists but there has been little or no change. His contract is ending and, as with any agreement, we will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses. But I repeat, based on the results we cannot possibly be satisfied."