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Tour News for June 29
Jonker out with tendonitis
Although he now rides with a Dutch licence, Patrick Jonker (31) is, in his own words "50-50 Dutch/Aussie". He was born in Amsterdam and went to school there, but moved to South Australia, where he spent most of his teenage years. He was part of the AIS road program under Heiko Sazlwedel, that saw a number of promising Australian riders realise their goal of racing professionally in Europe.
After spending some time with Novemail, ONCE and then Rabobank, Jonker was hired by the US Postal Service team in 2000. The main aim of this was to provide support to Lance Armstrong in the Tour, but unfortunately for Pat, this hasn't come off. He has had problems with tendonitis in recent months, and could not even be considered for the team. It will be the first time since 1995 that he hasn't ridden the Tour, and he is clearly disappointed. He sent us this update from Holland, where he is trying to rest up enough in order to begin racing again.
"Well as you know, I have tendonitis in the left foot which has been giving me heaps of problems. During the Route du Sud it got that bad that I had to stop. I had already been given treatment by the doctors by then, but nothing could be done, and now a two week rest is the only solution. So I wont be in the tour for the first time since '95!
It's having a big effect on my season, it ruins everything - two months of prepartion, a chance to ride with the Tour winner and show my value as a worker. So I'm in a huge hole now, but when my tendon recovers I'll be back for the World Cup races in August and September and possibly the Vuelta. Olympic selection is very important to me also but under the circumstances it's going to be interesting who gets the last few spots. It's always going to be a very difficult decision so we'll see what happens."
At the moment I'm hanging out with my wife and family in Holland. The weather is good - shame I cant do anything!"