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Buchmann to ride Tour de France in support of Kelderman

Emanuel Buchmann on Monte Zoncolan the day before he crashed out of the Giro d'Italia
Emanuel Buchmann on Monte Zoncolan the day before he crashed out of the Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Getty Images)

Emanuel Buchmann will return to action at the Tour de France after he was forced to abandon the Giro d’Italia following his crash on stage 15. 

The German was not originally slated to ride the Tour but Bora-Hansgrohe confirmed on Thursday that he will be part of their selection, which has yet to be announced in full.

Buchmann was lying sixth overall when he was among the fallers in the mass crash shortly after the Giro gruppo left Grado at the start of stage 15. The German sustained a mild concussion and bruising to his face, hip and knee.

After the Giro, Buchmann joined a Bora-Hansgrohe training camp in Livigno, where it was decided to add him to the Tour team, though both the rider and team manager Ralph Denk insisted that Wilco Kelderman would be the team leader.

"My crash at the Giro was very bitter. I was in really good shape and am convinced that I could have ridden right up front there. First of all, I had to deal with this setback and also heal the injuries from the crash. The motivation came back quite quickly and that's why I went to the training camp last week to see where I stood," said Buchmann.

"My knee continued to be slightly sore for a while, however, everything is okay now. I feel fit, yet whether I can be in top shape for the Tour still remains to be seen. I haven’t been able to prepare for several months like I did for the Giro, which was to be my highlight. That's why I'm not aiming for the overall classification."

Buchmann placed 4th overall at the 2019 Tour but his challenge last year was impeded by injuries sustained in a heavy crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné, and he could only manage 38th overall in Paris.

"I want to take the Tour day by day without pressure, taking my chances and riding offensively when possible. That doesn't necessarily mean that I'm writing off the overall classification from the outset, but with Wilco there, we’ll have a leader who has been able to prepare himself in the most optimal way,” said Buchmann. 

“He will be the clear number one there and I will also give him my full support where necessary."

As well as Kelderman and Buchmann, the Bora-Hansgrohe team for the Tour is expected to include both Peter Sagan and sprinter Pascal Ackermann.

Manager Ralph Denk downplayed Buchmann’s overall prospects – "the Tour parcours is not ideal for him, and he dropped out of the Giro injured" – but he expressed hope that the German would be an aggressive presence in July. 

"If his form is right, I would like to see him attacking and taking risks. We’d like to show the fans in Germany an offensive and attractive style of riding." 

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