No Lotto-Belisol ride for Hoste, will compete with Accent Jobs-Willems in 2012
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

No Lotto-Belisol ride for Hoste, will compete with Accent Jobs-Willems in 2012

by Shane Stokes at 5:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Belgian trying to return to top level racing after injury-hampered season

Leif HosteAlthough he was hoping to go to the new Lotto Belisol team, triple Tour of Flanders runner-up Leif Hoste will instead lead the Belgian Pro Continental Accent.jobs-Willems Veranda’s squad next season.

The 34 year old was part of Team Katusha’s Classic squad this year but had a serious fall in the Three Days of De Panne. He crashed heavily on the approach to the climb of the Eikenmolen, banging his head on the road, sustaining a deep gash to his eyebrow and breaking a front tooth.

More seriously, he suffered concussion and the effects of that ruined his season. He said in June that he was experiencing blinding headaches when training on the bike, and that an attempt at a longer spin led to him being forced not to train.

“I tried once to do five hours, but then I had to lie down here in the office,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “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.”

Since then, his situation has progressed and in October he said that he was once again able to train without problems.

However the injury led to a breakdown in his relationship with Katusha. While he had a contract extending into 2012, the team refused to honour that and he was forced to look elsewhere. He told Het Laaste Nieuws several weeks ago that he hoped Lotto Belisol would take him on. “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.”

He raced with the squad 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.

However he will now compete with Accent.jobs-Willems Veranda’s in 2012. It is not known if Lotto Belisol was not interested or if the Pro Continental team made him a better offer to be its leader in races.

Apart from his three second places in the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, he also won two stages plus the overall in the 2006 Three Days of De Panne, plus took top three finishes in the Tour de l’Ain and Eneco Tour. His best result this season was seventh in the Dwars Door Vlaanderen.

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