Florencio criticizes Cervélo TestTeam

Xavier Florencio has claimed that the decision of Cervélo TestTeam to withdraw him from its Tour de France line-up was not only a mistake but is now preventing him from securing a new contract for 2011.

The 30-year-old Spaniard was pulled from Cervélo TestTeam’s Tour squad on the eve of the race after revealing to the team doctor that he had used a treatment for haemorrhoids that contained ephedrine, which may have led to him testing positive.

“That decision is really affecting me,” he said in an interview with Biciciclismo. “Initially I took it well and I accepted it for the good of the team, but seeing now how they have acted I don’t accept what they did at the Tour. Nobody on the technical staff has helped me and I feel like I’ve been a little bit sidelined.”

Florencio, who returned to action for Cervélo TestTeam at the Tour of Denmark in early August and then rode a busy end-of-season program including the Vuelta a España, believes the decision to withdraw him from the Tour was too hasty.

Bad decision

“I don’t think it was a good decision for me or for the team. Things were done very badly and very quickly. I had all of the certificates I needed, I just had to let the UCI and the doctor at the Tour de France have them and I could have raced without any problem,” he said.

“The day after [they made the decision], when they saw the medical certificates they changed their minds because they could see what I was saying was right. But I had lost the opportunity to ride the Tour.”

Florencio believes that other teams have been put off from signing him for 2011 because he was pulled from the Tour at the last moment.He won the Clasica San Sebastian in 2006 but that success has been overshadowed by his problems this summer.

“That’s why many teams aren’t interested in discussing a deal with me. What hurts me most is that I haven’t tested positive but I have still been judged. My sporting career wasn’t taken into account,” he said.

Florencio says he has begun his preparation for the 2011 season while his agent, ex-pro Angel Edo, continues to look for a deal. “We are hoping to find a spot somewhere but it is difficult. I’m a bit disappointed with how much effort it is taking, but I’ve not lost hope,” the Spaniard said.

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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).