Ongoing knee pain means end of Classics season for Björn Leukemans
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Monday, April 9, 2012

Ongoing knee pain means end of Classics season for Björn Leukemans

by Shane Stokes at 10:46 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
Operation could be required to correct knee problem

Bjorn LeukemansVacansoleil DCM’s spring campaign has taken a knock with the news that one of its top hopes for the remaining Classcs, Björn Leukemans, will be forced to miss the remaining Classics and may have to go under the knife to correct a lingering problem.

“It is difficult not to ride in the races I worked towards,” the 34 year old Belgian said. “My knee doesn’t look good at all and the fear of the doctor is that it needs operation.”

Leukemans was due to ride Paris-Roubaix, Brabantse Pijl, Amstel Gold Race and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, but was forced to scratch his participation in the first of those when he experienced knee pain last Monday. The sensations had eased by last Friday, but he decided to play it safe then.

“In Paris-Roubaix you have to be a hundred percent and free of worries. That’s why I decided not to start and I am hopefully recovered in time for Fleche Brabançonne and to make something of my spring season,” he said then. “This decision hurts but is the right one.”

However the team conceded today that even after showing that caution and missing yesterday’s race, that the situation was not good and that his spring Classics campaign was over.

He will undergo a scan tomorrow, but the team fears that he has a damaged meniscus, a pad of cartilage which serves to decrease friction between the femur and tibia.

Vacansoleil DCM is also dealing with the setback of injury to Wouterl Mol. He broke his collarbone last Wednesday at the Scheldeprijs and so he too is also sidelined.

Leukemans had big goals for this year, his fourth with the team. He rode strongly in last spring’s Classics, netting second in Brabantse Pijl, seventh in both the Amstel Gold Race and the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, and ninth in Liège-Bastogne- Liège. He later went on to take a stage plus the overall in the Tour du Limosin and to place first in the Druivenkoers-Overijse.


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