Hoste able to train again, hoping Lotto-Ridley takes him on board
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hoste able to train again, hoping Lotto-Ridley takes him on board

by VeloNation Press at 6:38 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Katusha won't honour his contract in 2012

Leif HosteTriple Belgian time trial champion and multiple Tour of Flanders runner-up Leif Hoste is hoping to return to his former Lotto team after relations broke down with the Katusha squad. Hoste has a contract valid until the end of next year but with Katusha declining to honour that, he has his fingers crossed that the Lotto-Ridley setup will consider him for 2012.

In March, Hoste had a severe crash on stage one of the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde, falling heavily on the approach to the climb of the Eikenmolen. He banged his head on the road, sustaining a deep gash to his eyebrow and broke a front tooth.

He also suffered concussion and suffered the after effects for several months afterwards. In June he explained what was holding him back. “If I go out on my bike, I’m back home after two hours, guaranteed; with a splitting headache,” he told Het Nieuwsblad then.

“I can ride my bike, but an experienced cycletourist wouldn’t have much trouble with me. I can’t continue, no intense training. I tried once to do five hours at a stretch, but then I had to lie down here in the office. Two days at a stretch, doing nothing.”

In August he told Het Laaste Nieuws that a diagnosis had been made: he had a small tear in his brain. “I lose cerebrospinal fluid through the crack, so I get headaches at the slightest exertion,” he said then. “This can be solved with blood patches or with surgery. Hopefully, the misery will now be over quickly.”

Now, it appears that the 34 year old is able to once again push himself. “I can train again without pain,” he told Het Laaste Nieuws, saying that the situation has been resolved for three weeks.

Given he has a contract with Katusha, it seems possible that the Russian team will have to make a settlement with him if it is not going to honour the deal. Either way, he realises that he is better heading elsewhere. “If I have to look for another team, I’d be very happy with a team like Lotto. I know the team very well, because I was already there. And the team management know me.

Hoste competed within the setup between 2003 and 2004, and again between 2007 and 2010. In that time he took two of his runner-up slots in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, as well as one of his Belgian TT titles.

The Lotto Ridley team is being formed after the backers behind this year’s Omega Pharma - Lotto squad announced they would go their separate ways. Omega Pharma will put its weight behind the Quick Step team.


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