Thomas Dekker says 2012 Tour de France too early for him

Thomas Dekker was not surprised to be left off the Garmin-Barracuda squad for the Tour de France, stating that he is not yet ready for a race of that difficulty. “It's just too early. I'm too far from the level needed for the Tour,” he said.

The Dutchman served a two-year doping suspension and has been back in the peloton for nearly one year. “It's just a tough sport and you notice that you don't have the hardness,” he told “In the Tour de Suisse I rode 1400 kilometers in nine days. I need more of these competitions."

Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal was named as the US team's general classification contender, with Tom Danielson and Christian Vande Velde as backups. “They are much better now and everyone has a certain role in a team. The rest should help them and that's never been my forte.”

Dekker was supposed to ride the Giro d'Italia, but had to pass due to knee problems. He still expects to ride a Grand Tour this year, the Vuelta a Espana. “And then there's the World Championships in my own country, so there is still a lot to go.”  He further expects to ride the Tour in 2013. "Otherwise it would be a significant disappointment."

He has one individual win this season, the fifth stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe. His next race is Sunday's Dutch national road race.

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