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Julich leaves Eneco Tour

At the start of the third stage of the Eneco Tour in Beek, a notable absentee was defending champion Bobby Julich from Team CSC, the American suffering from fatigue after an already long season.

"Bobby didn't have any strength left following a couple of stages with crosswinds and several crashes. He was completely worn out both physically and mentally, so we decided he should get some rest instead," explained sports director Tristan Hoffman on

Going into Sunday's time trial, the best-placed Team CSC rider is Karsten Kroon, who lies 13th overall together with Thomas Dekker (Rabobank) and Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux), 23 seconds off the lead of Tom Boonen.

"Karsten received good support from his team-mates and is well prepared for Sunday," said Hoffman. "He did a lot of training on his time trial bike [leading] up to this race, so hopefully he won't lose too much time to his rivals in the overall standings; if that's the case, we believe he's able to get one or two good results in the final stages of the race."

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