British Olympian turned Tour prologue specialist Chris Boardman and Italian sprinter Mario Cipollini have both withdrawn from the Tour at the last minute due to injury and illness.
Boardman has made a habit of winning the Tour prologue in recent years, using his flat speed to full effect, but this year he suffered a severe bout of sinusitis in June, underwent antibiotic treatment, and as a result has been withdrawn from the Credit Agricole team.
Team chief Roger Legeay sympathised with Chris saying, “It is very sad for him but, unfortunately…to keep him in the team for the Tour would not have been good for him and would have stopped an in-form rider from being picked.” He added what is probably a common sentiment, “To start the Tour without him will be a strange feeling.” There are still the Olympics after all.
“Supermario” Cipollini, the Italian superstar, suffered a fall in Tuscany earlier in the month and unfortunately has not had the chance to recover from 2 cracked ribs and a sore chin. His Saeco team will, therefore, not be starting with him in their ranks.
The Tour’s loss.