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Maté to sit out Tour de France to focus on Vuelta preparations

Luis Ángel Maté in his hometown, Marbella.
Luis Ángel Maté in his hometown, Marbella. / SUR
  • The Marbella rider will prioritise the race which kicks off in Malaga and includes three stages within the province

Marbella rider Luis Ángel Maté will not be on the starting line for the upcoming Tour de France, it has been announced, as he looks to be in optimal condition for the Vuelta a España which starts on home territory on 25 August.

Maté, who has not missed a Tour de France since 2011, has been given special permission from his team Cofidis to focus on the race which will include three stages in Malaga province - the first of which starts at Muelle Uno in the provincial capital.

"I missed the chance to take part in the Vuelta a España that started in Marbella [in 2015] and it's something that has stayed with me," he said, adding that he thanked his team for their understanding for allowing him to "prepare for the race with maximum dedication".

Since his first Vuelta back in 2011, the cyclist has never taken part without having previously participated in the Tour de France, with the associated fatigue.

"I believe I'm in a good moment. I'm more mature, both physically and mentally and having the opportunity to prepare the Vuelta without the distraction of the Tour is something unique," he said.

"What's more, the race starts from home and there are several stages in my territory. It will be wonderful."

After a good showing at the Spanish Championships, Maté will have a week's rest before the Tour de Pologne. Following that, he will do some altitude training ahead of the start of the Vuelta in August.