Bob Jungels will miss Tour de France to undergo surgery, 'relieved' to have found problem affecting performance

He says it's a 'huge disappointment' to miss out on not just the Tour, but also his national championships and the Olympic Games

Bob Jungels
(Image credit: Getty)

Bob Jungels will miss out on both the Tour de France and Tokyo Olympic Games as he undergoes surgery for an issue that's hampered his performances for the past three seasons.

After the Ag2r Citroën rider struggled with recurring pain at the recent Tour de Suisse, medical examinations pointed to a vascular issue. Therefore, the 28-year-old will have iliac artery surgery in the coming days to deal with the endofibrosis, a narrowing of the arteries, which he's suffering from. 

"It is a huge disappointment to have to give up the Tour de France which would have been my first time there with the Ag2r Citroën team, as well as my national championships and the Olympic Games. I had a difficult start to the season physically but also mentally because I was keen to shine, but I was never at the level I wanted to be," Jungels said in a statement.

"At the Tour de Suisse, I was very happy with my 18th place in the time trial on the first stage. Then the pain that I had felt for several years when I was pushing hard came back steadily. Medical examinations confirmed the diagnosis I was anticipating."

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“The first tests showed that it could be a vascular abnormality called arterial endofibrosis affecting the iliac artery. The decision to have surgery should be taken in the coming days,” added Ag2r's medical director Eric Bouvat, team boss Vincent Lavenu saying he is convinced that once Jungels is rid of these issues he will perform well for the team he signed for at the start of this season.

Aside from Luxembourg national championships titles, one on the road and two in the time trial, Jungels hasn't won a race since Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in March 2019.

"On the one hand, I am relieved because I know why my performances have been irregular for three seasons, on the other hand, it is a huge disappointment," Jungels finished.

Lotto-Soudal's Tim Wellens has also been forced to miss the upcoming Tour due to an undiagnosed illness.

"At the moment, my body isn’t reacting to the training stimulus the way I want it to. I can’t push the number of watts I need to do well at the Tour de France," the Belgian said.

"I don’t yet know what is the reason behind this. Something isn’t right and needs to be solved. I am travelling to Belgium now to undergo additional examinations. Together with the team, I decided not to take any risks for the rest of the season. To start at the Tour could jeopardise a lot."

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