Former world champion Thor Hushovd will not start the Tour de France this year, opting instead for the Tour of Poland ahead of the London Olympics.
BMC Racing staff confirmed the Norwegian’s plan to skip the Tour as he continues to recover from a viral infection that plagued him throughout the spring classics. Hushovd abandoned the Giro d’Italia on the fifth day.
“We did perform some tests at the Mapei Sport Center after the Giro and found that he had signs of a viral infection from earlier in the year,” said team doctor, Max Testa. “But everything now is normal.”
Testa said that Hushovd is currently in good health, but his fitness is not where it needs to be to start the Tour in Liège, Belgium, on June 30.
“We obviously would have liked to have had him on our Tour de France team,” said BMC Racing director sportif John Lelangue. “But after evaluating everything, we think this program will better help him meet his own goals.
Hushovd said the break would allow him the time he needs to prepare for the Olympic Games, where he will lead the Norwegian squad alongside Edvald Boasson Hagen.
“I needed more time to recover and it’s always been a goal of mine to do well at the Olympics,” said Hushovd. “I also hope to be a part of the BMC Racing Team’s team time trial squad at the world championships and to compete in the road race as well. So there are still a lot of goals left to prove to myself this year.”
In addition to the Tour, Hushovd will skip the Norwegian national road championships this month.
Hushovd won two stages, and the team time trial, with Garmin at the Tour in 2011 and wore the maillot jaune for seven days. The last time he missed the Tour was in 2000, his neo-pro season with Credit Agricole.
The Olympic road race is set for Saturday July 28, six days after the Tour de France ends and 12 days after the Tour of Poland closes.