Jakob Fuglsang out of Tour de Romandie and Giro d'Italia
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Jakob Fuglsang out of Tour de Romandie and Giro d'Italia

by VeloNation Press at 11:46 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Tour of Romandie, Injury
Knee problem scuppers Fuglsang’s Romandie and Giro plans

Jakob FuglsangJakob Fuglsang’s goal of continuing his development as a rider and chasing a top five finish in this year’s Giro d’Italia has come to an end, with the rider being forced to stop racing due to a knee problem.

According to his RadioShack Nissan team, the problem cropped up at an altitude camp two weeks ago in Sierra Nevada. He started the Tour de Romandie but was forced to withdraw prior to the start of today’s third stage.

Medical staff have diagnosed that he has an inflamed articular capsule and ligament of his left knee. He must rest, and so he has been scratched from the roster for the Giro d’Italia.

Fuglsang has had bad luck already this year with a crash in the Volta a Catalunya and while he had hoped to be in decent condition anyway for the Giro, the latest injury is too much.

“I am very disappointed,” he said. “The Giro was my big objective for this year. Yesterday I had so much pain in the last forty kilometres, I was just miserable. At that point I realized that it might be the end of my Giro dream. Moreover I was already running behind my schedule after the scaphoid bone fracture in the Tour of Catalunya.”

The start location makes the decision all the more crushing for him. “The Giro was particularly special for me, because it starts in Denmark,” he continued. “We would even have stayed in a hotel in the city where I grew up. My hand injury was already a setback. Now, with this on top, I can only agree with the doctors and not take any risk.

“I will look ahead. I am young and there will be other Grand Tours for me in the future.”

Team Doctor Andreas Gösele was definite about the course of action. “This is an absolute clear diagnosis,” he said. “Jakob is a great young rider and we all have a responsibility for him. With a quick and intensive therapy, Jakob would possibly be able to start at the Giro, but with how much risk?

“A good result would be out of the question and if he would have to drop out after ten stages, what would we have accomplished?”

He said that it was impossible to guarantee that he would be okay, and that it was not a good idea to require an injured rider to start such a tough race.

“We don't want to jeopardize his season and his career. In normal conditions, he would need at least ten days of rest and then a steady build-up, but now we are eight days away from the start in Denmark,” he said.

The team has had a difficult season thus far. Star Classics rider Fabian Cancellara crashed in the Tour of Flanders and fractured his collarbone, while Andy and Frank Schleck have been some way off their best form.

Now, with Fuglsang out, the team’s hopes for the Giro have taken a knock.

“This makes me very sad,” said the team’s manager Johan Bruyneel. “Jakob had made the Giro his big season goal. He invested a lot of time and even personal funds for altitude camps to be in his best shape at the start of the race.”

He said that the team would rethink it’s plans for the race, working out an alternative approach in terms of its aims.

Fuglsang is a three-time winner of the Tour of Denmark, and has also won the Tour of Slovenia and the national time trial title.

He was eleventh in last year’s Vuelta and believed he could step up a level in the Giro.


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