Terpstra to skip Tour de France

Two Tour of Qatar wins for Niki Terpstra (Etixx-Quickstep)

Two Tour of Qatar wins for Niki Terpstra (Etixx-Quickstep) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Niki Terpstra made his return to racing at the Tour of Belgium Wednesday following period of rest and recovery after the culmination of the classics season. Terpstra accumulated 26 race days on the road, plus track racing at the Six Days of Rotterdam in January, before his taking a break explaining on the Etixx-Quick Step website he indulged in car hobby and renovated his house.

"After that, I started training again. I also went to Mallorca to do some training over there in the nice Spanish sun."

Terpstra started his season with a stage win and overall victory at the Tour of Qatar for the second time in his career. At the first classic of the season, Terpstra was runner up to Ian Stannard at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad as the Team Sky rider outsmarted the numerical superiority of Etixx-Quick for the victory. Second place would become a theme for Terpstra throughout the classics as the 31-year-old also recorded that result at Ronde Van Zeeland Seaports, Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders.

Returning to the site of his first professional win, stage 4 of the 2006 Tour of Belgium, Terpstra explained that he will use to the race to gauge his current form and condition and while he has ridden the last two editions of the Tour de France, Terpstra will skip the race this year adding it was not an easy decision considering the Utrecht Grand Départ on July 4.

"Together with the team we decided that I will not take the start at Le Tour. This year my program is a little different than usual. It was a difficult decision because with the start in Holland, as a Dutch rider, it would have been something special to be riding on what I consider to be home roads. But sometimes you have to make choices to find the right program.

"I will be riding the Eneco Tour, and after that we will see what my program is for the rest of the season."

Terpstra missed out on selection for the 2014 World Championships, admitting he was 'surprised' by the omission, although the 2015 parcours is one that is better suited to his characteristics with Dutch national coach Johan Lammerts previously suggesting he would be a co-leader at the race with Lars Boom (Astana).

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