Estonian cyclists Rein Taaramäe (Team Total Direct Energie) and Tanel Kangert (EF Pro Cycling) were both left off the lists of athletes for their respective teams for the Tour de France, due to start on August 29.
Team Total Direct Energie, Taaramäe's club, named their start list, which the Estonian was not part of. The team will put out seven Frenchmen and an Italian rider instead.
Taaramäe has participated in the Tour in 2010-2015 and 2018-2019. In 2011, he finished 11th, his highest ever ranking at the annual 21-stage bicycle race, often described as "the world's most prestigious and most difficult bicycle race." Taaramäe came in 66th in last year's Tour.
Tanel Kangert, who recently reached an agreement with Australian team Mitchelton-Scott, will also not participate in this year's Tour de France. Kangert said he was not fully on form.
"I am certainly sad, not being able to ride the Tour, but I don't want to just mark it down as a checkmark and tell the team on the tenth day that I'm through. I asked them to find a fresher man," Kangert told portal Delfi (link in Estonian).
Kangert noted his preparation for this year's cycling spectacle was not optimal, and the competition hiatus and training cycle worked in opposite of each other as the 33-year old over-trained.
Kangert's highest Tour de France finish came in 2018, when he came 16th.
This year's event is being held later than traditionally, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste, Andrew Whyte