Johan Vansummeren to ride through knee pain in Qatar and Oman
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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Johan Vansummeren to ride through knee pain in Qatar and Oman

by Ben Atkins at 8:02 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Tour of Qatar, Injury, Tour of Oman
Paris-Roubaix winner using ice and injections to treat problem, but cure by cortisone is prohibited by anti-doping regulations

johan vansummerenJohan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda) will travel to the Middle East this week, despite suffering from a pain in his knee, Sporza reports. The winner of last year’s Paris-Roubaix apparently began suffering problems at the team’s US training camp; all appeared to be well at its recent camp in Spain, but on the final day he began to feel it once more.

Despite his problems though, the tall Belgian has made the journey to the Tours of Qatar and Oman this week, since he needs the races to build form for the Classics.

“I have an ice treatment every day,” he told Het Belang van Limburg. “Just before my departure for Qatar I got a series of injections.”

For Vansummeren the problem seems simple, but anti-doping regulations prevent him from receiving the best treatment for his injury.

“I have a lot of questions, but have no answers,” he explained. “If they gave me cortisone it would completely cure the problem, but as a rider you cannot have those injections. So the healing is dragging on.”

Ordinarily a knee problem should call for a rest from racing, but for a rider aiming to match his best ever victory in April, Vansummeren is soldiering on in the hope that things will improve.

“I have no choice because I urgently need to start,” he said. “For this reason I am going to Qatar, and then on to Oman. Maybe I’m worrying about nothing and it will get better.”

In addition to his personal Classics ambitions, Vansummeren is one of the hardest working members of Garmin-Barracuda. A fit Vansummeren would be a vital piece of the American team’s lead out for sprinter Tyler Farrar, and so the whole team will hope that his problem clears up soon.


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