Theo Bos (Belkin) took part in the Vuelta a España team presentation on Friday evening but the Dutch sprinter and former track star will not be present in the race after a UCI test revealed what his team called “sub-optimal health conditions.”
Standard health checks by the UCI prior to the Vuelta, Belkin said, had shown up low cortisol levels in the 30-year-old sprinter, who was informed about it in an email this morning. The UCI allow riders with such low levels to start WorldTour races, Belkin said in a press release, but Belkin is part of the MPCC (Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Credible), whose rules state that riders cannot take part in races until cortisol levels have “returned to normal.”
Cortisol hit the headlines in June when it emerged that Europcar, also an MPCC member, had allowed Pierre Rolland to take part in a stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné (from which he later withdrew) despite low levels of the hormone in his body, which is usually boosted by racing and training.
Bos, though, will not even take part in the Vuelta, Belkin said “because of low cortisol levels that appeared in a regular pre-race UCI test, which is an indication of sub-optimal health conditions.” In a joint decision, Bos has now been sent home.
This year Bos, who switched being a top track racer to a sprinter in 2009, has won six races, including stages of the Criterium International and Tour of the Algarve.
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Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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