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Breschel still hopes to ride Tour de France

Matti Breschel (Rabobank) chats with race leader Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto)

Matti Breschel (Rabobank) chats with race leader Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Knee problems and surgery have destroyed Matti Breschel's Spring Classics season, and the Rabobank rider has acknowledged the rest of the season is also being affected. He still hoped to ride the Tour de France, but if he is not back in shape by July, he has started planning for other races.

He underwent further knee surgery only three weeks ago, and is still not back on the bike. “I do strength training to keep the muscles in shape,” he told “I have sat a little on the bike, but it still feels pretty sore around the area where I had surgery. It just takes time.”

The 26-year-old knew it was important not to force his way back. “It is going quietly forward, it is up and down. I make sure to take care of myself so I don't come back too early. I would rather take a week too long.”

Breschel signed with Rabobank this season to lead the Dutch ProTeam in the Spring Classics, but the knee problems have given him only minimal racing time this year. His next objective was the Tour de France, and he realized that it too might be questionable.

“If I'm only 90 per cent ready, I shouldn't ride the Tour and take the place of a rider who might be 100 per cent,” he said.

The Dane has come up with a fall back plan. “I would rather spend the time concentrating on the Tour of Denmark, the Vuelta a Espana and the world championships, and then hope that the form stays all the way to the Giro di Lombardia.”

But that would definitely be his second choice. “My plan A is still to get ready for the Tour, but if it turns out that I can't, then I have a Plan B. It is good to have that in mind, so I won't be disappointed not to ride the Tour.”

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