Tour de France hopeful Floyd Landis has ruled out competing in the Giro d’Italia as part of his preparation to bid for the yellow jersey in July.
Recent Paris-Nice winner Landis, who finished ninth overall on the Tour de France last year, had planned to compete in the three-week Giro (May 6-28) to fine tune his form.
Phonak team manager John Lelangue said Sunday there had been a change of plans for July’s big race.
“Floyd has had a great start to the season so it’s better that he has a more relaxed approach to the Tour,” said Lelangue, who affirmed however that Phonak would not be riding in Italy just to make an appearance.
“But we’ll be sending a competitive team to the Giro,” added Lelangue who will build a team around Colombian Victor Hugo Pena and Belgian Axel Merckx.
Landis, 30, is a former teammate of now retired seven-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong, with whom he had a spat at last year’s race while he was riding for his new Swiss team.
This year, Landis should be aiming for a place on the podium of the Tour and with this in mind will spend May riding some of the key stages of the Tour (July 1-23) before racing the Dauphine Libere (June 4-11).
The main favorites to win the yellow jersey are last year’s runner-up Ivan Basso of Italy and Germany’s 1997 winner and five-time runner-up Jan Ullrich.