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Stage winner Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step) on the podium.
Belgian sprinter denied Tour de France start
Despite an opening in Quick Step's Tour de France squad following Tom Boonen's enforced absence through injury, Wouter Weylandt has been denied a ride in La Grande Boucle and isn't pleased about the situation.
The rules of Tour de France organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) stipulate that all riders eligible for participation in its flagship cycling event - some 1,915 riders - be a part of their team's pre-selection squad, nominated and sent to the organisation by April 1 to help facilitate out-of-competition drugs testing.
Francesco Reda has been selected for Quick Step as the replacement for Boonen which has Weylandt, who won stage three of this year's Giro d'Italia, totally frustrated.
"Completely ridiculous," is how Weylandt described the outcome to reporters. "As I rode the Giro, I had more anti-doping controls than others who will ride the Tour. This is frustrating, it has slowed down my career," he said.
"It's too bad I wasn't in the 1,915 [nominated riders], but the Tour was simply not on my program," continued Weylandt. "But this was a fantastic opportunity. Mark Cavendish is not as dominant and the sprints are much more open. Furthermore, I had no Tom [to lead out] so this was my big chance to go," he said.
Weylandt certainly wasn't hiding his displeasure, adding, "I heard that seven teams have included a rider who wasn't on the list to start. Maybe those teams [are] knocking on the table."