Good news for Leukemans, but Spring Classics still up in smoke
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Good news for Leukemans, but Spring Classics still up in smoke

by Shane Stokes at 8:34 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Injury
 
No operation needed for knee problem

Bjorn LeukemansVacansoleil DCM’s big Classic hope Bjorn Leukemans has been given some welcome news today, although appears it won’t be enough to save the spring Classics campaign he had a lot of hopes for.

The Belgian team stated yesterday that he was facing a possible operation over fears that he had a damaged meniscus, a pad of cartilage which serves to decrease friction between the femur and tibia.

The 34 year old Belgian had a scan this morning to give a definitive diagnosis. The verdict is that things are not as serious as the team had thought.

“The specialist gave my knee a comprehensive examination. He came to the conclusion that surgery is not necessary because no tear to the meniscus was found,” Leukemans said on his website. “The cartilage in the knee was strained by the sudden stop at the foot of the famous Paterberg [in the Ronde Van Vlaanderen – ed.], hence the fluid that was building up during training efforts.

“The opinion of the specialist is that I can now start to build my training up easily, starting with an hour a day.”

Leukemans 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.

He had ambitious goals for this year’s races, but is going to have to be cautious. It’s therefore extremely unlikely that he’ll be able to compete in the remaining Classics.

“In the circumstances this is the best news I could get… If the recovery goes smoothly, I can minimize the damage. It’s as yet impossible to say when I can return to competition.”

He said that he had no plans to force things, but would instead listen to his body and structure his training to reflect those sensations.

“Only when I don’t feel any thing else can I get back to full training. At that point I can decide when I will compete again,” he explained.

The Vacansoleil DCM team is down an additional rider because of Wouter Mol’s broken collarbone.

 

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