Haselbacher not happy with Giro non-participation

By Susan Westemeyer

René Haselbacher of Team Astana was looking forward to the Giro d'Italia as his season highlight, but the announcement by race organiser RCS Sport that Team Astana would not be invited put an end to that plan – and possibly more. RCS Sport Events Director Angelo Zomegnan "should explain to me personally why I can't take part. Right now, I am seriously considering whether it would be better to think about changing my profession at the end of the season," the Austrian stated to LaOla1.at.

"The Giro was my main goal this season. But it's over. I can forget it now. Why I can't start? I still don't know," the 30 year-old continued. "Honestly, I don't really care any more. I'm taking a break of training."

He is sorry to see "what goes on behind the scenes." Haselbacher said that he would rather return to his training in South Africa, "where I can train in sunshine and temperatures of 30°. There I don't ask what is happening. I get on my bike at 8:30 and enjoy my life as an athlete. I don't care about the rest." By "the rest," he meant, "The whole doping s**t, discussions with organisers, will we ride or won't we? That's too much for me. I want to stay away from it. I can't personally change the sport of cycling, so I try not to get involved. René Haselbacher doesn't have to change the world."

He doesn't know now how the rest of his season will unfold. Even if his team is invited to the Tour de France, he wouldn't ride it. "The Tour is not a theme for me personally. I have given it up. With our strong team, I don't have a chance and am therefore so angry that the Giro isn't there for me."

Looking beyond the Grand Tours, he added, "I don't even want to think about what will happen if all the [race] organisers, even the smaller ones, go crazy. What shall I do then? I may as well stay with my girlfriend in South Africa and train just for the fun of it. You can't plan anything except for such minor races as the Mallorca or Portugal tours.

"Cycling is being destroyed," he continued. "I'm lucky to be with Astana, because our sponsor doesn't care about the squabbling. Astana won't leave. The situation is more critical for other teams."

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