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Devolder in doubt for Tour de France

Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)

Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) (Image credit: Sirotti)

Stijn Devolder planned to ride the Tour de France this year but may have changed his mind in recent weeks, opting to focus on the Vuelta a España instead.

According to Het Nieuwblad, the Belgian national champion is finding it difficult to get back into form after the death of Wouter Weylandt, one of his closest friends.

"If it was up to me, I wouldn't go to the Tour," he told reporters in Switzerland. Devolder is currently racing the Tour de Suisse, without any ambitions. "I just don't have the condition for it. I have been building it up from scratch since the Wouter's death."

Weylandt died in a tragic accident during stage three of the Giro d'Italia.

Devolder would prefer to try and get back on form for the Vuelta that begins on August 20.

"I'd like to come back to form in a training camp in July, to be able to go to the Vuelta with ambitions for the general classification," he added.

Vacasoleil team manager Hilaire Van der Schueren does not want to put any pressure on Devolder with regards to the Tour, even though the team leader would be missed if he were not to ride.

"If he doesn't want to, he doesn't have to start," said Van der Schueren. "I'm still hoping he will. On Wednesday, we will sit down together with the medical staff to take the right decision. We have two scenarios for the Tour, one is with and the other one is without Devolder."