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De Plus to sit out Tour de France as part of recovery from overtraining

ERMUALDE LAUDIO SPAIN APRIL 07 Laurens De Plus of Belgium and Team INEOS Grenadiers during the 60th ItzuliaVuelta Ciclista Pais Vasco 2021 Stage 3 a 1677km stage from Amurrio to Ermualde Laudio 481m itzulia ehitzulia on April 07 2021 in Ermualde Laudio Spain Photo by David RamosGetty Images
Laurens De Plus (Ineos Grenadiers) at Itzulia Basque Country 2021 stage 3 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

After a tough 2020, Laurens De Plus started this season with new team, Ineos Grenadiers, targeting the Ardennes and in the running to line up at the Tour de France in a support role. However, his 2021 season doesn't seem to be going to plan either, with the Belgian forced to take another step back from racing. 

The 25 year old raced just 4 days last year due to a hip problem, but this year lined up at the Tour de La Provence, Paris-Nice, took a top-ten at the Gran Premio Miguel Indurain and then went onto Itzulia Basque Country, though he didn't finish the Spanish race after it became clear things weren’t right.

“I've been too eager and I got a little carried away,” De Plus told Dutch website Wielerflits. “After the Tour of the Basque Country I was extremely tired. Due to a solid training block I became overtrained and it took quite a long time before I was back on my feet.”

De Plus also had to sit out the Ardennes Classics later in May – which had been a key target – because of the overtraining problems which the rider said may have stemmed from a combination of new methods and the physical issues he had last year.

“In the meantime, things are going much better, but unfortunately the Dauphiné and the Tour de France come too early,” said De Plus. 

Now the versatile rider who is strong on the climbs is resetting his goals to later in the season. 

“Let's just say I'm a few weeks behind schedule compared to my original schedule. I could name a date or a competition I want to perform in, but I'd rather not do that anymore. I don't want to be rushed or made nervous,” De Plus said.

“Even from the team management they don't want me to force things. Everything in its time and focus on a full recovery first. But the urge is there, just to be clear. I would love nothing more than to get back into competition as soon as possible.”