Dekker to ride Giro d'Italia

Thomas Dekker will return to the Giro d'Italia this year, seven years since he first rode it. The Garmin-Barracuda rider hope to use it to qualify for a place on the Tour de France squad.

The 2005 Giro is one of only two grand tours to date for Dekker, and he finished 75th. He also rode the Tour de France in 2007. Dekker was to ride the Tour de France for Silence-Lotto in 2009, but was removed from the squad only days before the race started when it was announced that he had tested positive for EPO in December 2007.

“One of my goals this year is to ride the Tour,” he told “To properly prepare for that, I need the Giro.  It is good that I can start.”

Dekker rode for the Continental-ranked Chipotle Development Team as of August 1, 2011, after his two-year ban ended. He then moved up to the WorldTour team this year.

He took his first individual win since 2007 last week when he won the final stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe. The 27-year-old will ride the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday.

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