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Fabio Aru out of Qhubeka-Assos' Tour de France squad

Fabio Aru (Qhubeka-Assos) dropped out of the Italian road championships in Imola
Fabio Aru (Qhubeka-Assos) dropped out of the Italian road championships in Imola (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Fabio Aru has been replaced on Qhubeka Assos' team for the 2021 Tour de France after suffering from unspecified physical problems in the Italian national championships over the weekend. Carlos Barbero has been given the call-up to replace the 2015 Vuelta a España winner.

"I know what it takes to compete at the Tour and I felt that, with the physical problems that I had over the weekend, my body is just not where it needs to be for me to be at my very best for the Grand Depart," Aru said in a team press release.

"After discussing the situation with the team I decided that it in was our best interests to withdraw from the selection."

Aru was diagnosed with a constriction of the iliac artery in his left leg and underwent surgery to treat the condition in 2019. He had his best Grand Tour performance in several years that season, finishing 14th in the Tour de France but has since failed to finish a Grand Tour.

Aru dropped out of the Italian championships on Sunday which were won by Bahrain Victorious' Sonny Colbrelli.

It will be Barbero's Tour de France debut after the 30-year-old competed in the Vuelta a España twice.

Sean Bennett, Victor Campenaerts, Simon Clarke, Michael Gogl, Nicholas Dlamini, Sergio Henao and Max Walscheid complete the team's line-up. 

"I am very excited to start my first-ever Tour de France. It was not on my initial plan for the season but in cycling, as in life, there can be changes and you have to be prepared for when those happy," Barbero said. 

"I am incredibly happy and will look to continue the way in which the team have raced this year as we look to be as successful as possible."

Qhubeka Assos for the Tour de France: Carlos Barbero, Sean Bennett, Victor Campenaerts, Simon Clarke, Michael Gogl, Nicholas Dlamini, Sergio Henao and Max Walscheid.

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