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by Neal Rogers
June 29, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: UCI clarifies implementation of protocol for calculating time gaps on bunch-sprint stages; Coquard: ‘It hurts not going to Tour de France’; Video: Chris Froome tells Eurosport what he is expecting for Tour de France; Merida unveils new Reacto III road aero bike for Tour de France; Former teammate weighs in on Cardoso’s EPO positive; ‘Pocket lab’ tests blood in 30 seconds, changing how cyclists train; Team Sunweb adds German duo Max Kanter and Leon Rohde to WorldTour roster as stagiaires; Video: Trailer for All For One, documenting first five years of GreenEdge team; Video: Pilot for documentary tracing paralympian David Smith through three spinal tumour operations.
French sprinter Bryan Coquard said it “hurts” to be excluded from Direct Energie’s Tour de France squad after bad feelings regarding his decision not to renew with the squad saw him left of the nine-man roster.
“I had been expecting it,” Coquard said. “I am very disappointed, I would have liked to be part of the team. I am very sad, really affected. It was so important to me to do the Tour de France. I almost won a stage last year, I wanted to shine for the team. But now that’s announced it’s better. I was waiting to hear … now I know I will not be there. It hurts, it’s the Tour de France.”
Coquard said he received the news from team manager Jean-René Bernaudeau, just prior to the team’s Tour roster announcement.
“Yes, of course I’m angry with him,” Coquard said. “I do not feel I have made a mistake since the beginning of the season. I did nothing wrong. I have done everything to be operational since the beginning of the season. Since mid-May, when I told him I would not stay, things started to change. I think you can not make a big result on the bike when you’re not 100% in it. I thought I was stronger than all that. I thought I was going to overcome it. But no. Unconsciously, it really affected me, but I never showed it…. Jean-René had the feeling of being betrayed because he felt like he had done everything right for me. He felt hurt. But it was he who forced me to give my answer so soon. I had a deadline.”
Coquard, who said he has been in contact with three or four teams for a contract, said he does not know how the remainder of the season will go with Direct Energie. “I do not know how the rest of the season will go,” he said. “Will I succeed in rebounding? I think so. But maybe, again, I see myself too strong. As was the case in the days leading up to the French championship. Then finally I cracked.”
To read more, click through to Ouest-France.fr.