Leipheimer unable to train yet, concedes Tour of California is not certain
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Leipheimer unable to train yet, concedes Tour of California is not certain

by Shane Stokes at 1:47 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of California, Injury
Injury from collision with car makes it difficult to walk

Levi LeipheimerStill unable to ride his bike and having difficulty even walking, Levi Leipheimer has conceded that his aim of winning this year’s Amgen Tour of California looks increasingly unlikely.

In fact, there is a chanced that the Omega Pharma Quick Step rider could miss the race altogether, with his recovery from a broken fibula taking longer than expected.

He was hit by a car at the start of this month, one day prior to the start of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco.

"The situation isn't pleasant at all. Ever since the day of the accident I haven't managed to get back on my bike out on the road, and I honestly don't know when that will be possible,” he said today.

“Recovery is slower than we expected. I still have pain in my leg and I'm having trouble walking. I also have pain in my ribs and hips due to the fall, this is limiting my movement."

Leipheimer has won the Tour of California three times and after finishing second behind team-mate Chris Horner last year, he was determined to head back and try for a fourth success.

Unfortunately for him and his supporters, that aim looks very difficult to achieve.

"The Tour of California was one of the objectives for my season," he said. "I wanted to be competitive in order to win a fourth overall title. At this point, merely participating will be a success. I will put in my best effort to manage to be on the starting line, even though it won't be easy."

The American had a strong start to his first season with the Omega Pharma Quick Step team when he took a stage plus the overall classification in the Tour de San Luis in January.

After that, he looked set to take third in Paris-Nice but crashed on the penultimate day and slipped down the general classification.

He rode well in places in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco but didn’t contend for the overall. The Volta a Catalunya was a target but he was hit from behind by an elderly driver one day before the race was due to start. He said afterward that he was lucky to be alive.

Whether or not he competes in the Tour of California, he’ll aim to be back to full fitness for the Tour de France and Olympic Games.


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