Fibula fracture confirmed for Levi Leipheimer following training crash
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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fibula fracture confirmed for Levi Leipheimer following training crash

by Ben Atkins at 1:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of California, Injury
Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s American captain in a rush to recover for Tour of California

levi leipheimerLevi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) suffered a fracture to his left fibula in last week's training crash, his team has confirmed. The American rider was hit by a car on the day while out training on April 1st, the before the Vuelta Pais Vasco; at first it was thought that he had suffered muscle contusions, but x-rays have confirmed the fracture.

“After the crash, I understood immediately something was wrong when there was swelling, and I couldn't bear weight on that side,” Leipheimer explained. “Now I need to stay calm and recover as fast as possible to try to be competitive for Amgen Tour of California.

“I am really disappointed, but the real victory here is that I survived the collision and that I’m alive to meet that challenge at all,” he reasoned. “It’s amazing that all I did was break my fibula. I was in a panic state after [the collision] happened; I couldn’t calm down. I can’t communicate how close I came to being killed and that was incredibly scary. More than anything, I’m really grateful for the chance to come back from this injury.”

While the American has been forced to sit out the Pais Vasco race, and faces a fight to get back into form for California, with the biggest targets of the year coming much later on, he is looking on the bright side of this enforced layoff.

“This could be a good thing for me in events like the Tour de France and the 2012 London Olympics,” he said. “While the Tour of California will be more of a challenge for me now, I still have my sights set squarely on a win again this year.”

Leipheimer has been unlucky with a few crashes in the last year. His 2011 Tour de France hopes were ended as he became one of the many overall contenders - and four from his RadioShack team - who were brought down in the first week; more recently he was blown out of contention on the penultimate stage of Paris-Nice when the Movistar team accelerated after he was brought down in the second of his three crashes.

While surgery is not immediately necessary, the 38-year-old will be forced to take absolute rest for two weeks.


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