One setback after another for Lidl-Trek's Tour de france team, will dsm-firmenich PostNL pull a rabbit out of the hat?

one setback after another for lidl-trek's tour de france team, will dsm-firmenich postnl pull a rabbit out of the hat?

One setback after another for Lidl-Trek's Tour de france team, will dsm-firmenich PostNL pull a rabbit out of the hat?

As the Tour de France approaches, many teams face uncertainties. Illnesses and crashes are annual occurrences, but this season's widespread crashes seem to add an extra layer of challenge. Both Lidl-Trek and dsm-firmenich PostNL have been dealt a bad hand.

At the beginning of the season, Lidl-Trek announced that Tao Geoghegan Hart and Mads Pedersen would be their absolute leaders, with Giulio Ciccone, who missed the Giro, joining as the third key player. A pre-selection of other riders was made, but many of these riders were involved in a massive crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Lead-outs Ryan Gibbons, Alex Kirsch, and the versatile Toms Skujins did not finish the French preparatory race, and team leader Hart was seriously injured. He suffered a chest injury after colliding with a roadside object at high speed, and, to make matters worse, he also contracted COVID-19.

"I tested positive for five days and couldn't cycle," stated the British rider, adding that he was "super sick." "I thought we were past the days of COVID, but unfortunately, that wasn't the case."

Continue reading below the photo.

Giulio Ciccone managed to complete the Dauphiné with several notable placements in both stage results and the overall classification. However, he has since been struck by a virus, as he reports. "I didn't return from the Dauphiné as I had hoped. I've contracted the flu and haven't been able to train for three days. Hopefully, I'll feel better soon and recover in time for the Italian championship."

Lidl-Trek's preselection also included two Dutch riders: Bauke Mollema and Sam Oomen. Mollema had to leave Switzerland after a few days due to "a sore throat and jelly legs," but he has since resumed training. Oomen completed the preparatory race, finishing 36th overall, but seemed dissatisfied after the final time trial.

dsm-firmenich PostNL may opt for debutant Dutchman in Tour de France

At dsm-firmenich PostNL, the situation is also challenging. The team is dealing with several long-term absentees and needs to adjust in all areas. Timo Roosen told this site that the Tour might not be on his agenda, while Nils Eekhoff is still dealing with the aftereffects of a fall and a resulting concussion at the Four Days of Dunkirk.

The climbing group, featuring Warren Barguil, Romain Bardet, and possibly the in-form Oscar Onley, is well-equipped. They might also be joined by Frank van den Broek. The Dutchman, in his first year with the team, already claimed a victory in the Tour of Turkey and showed great form again in the Tour of Switzerland. A final decision is expected next week.

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