Critérium du Dauphiné: Schleck crashes, punctures, loses over ten minutes
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Critérium du Dauphiné: Schleck crashes, punctures, loses over ten minutes

by VeloNation Press at 10:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Critérium du Dauphiné
More frustration in pre-Tour event

Andy SchleckAndy Schleck’s forgettable Critérium du Dauphiné continued today when the Luxembourg rider crashed approximately ten kilometres into the 53.5 kilometre time trial, landing heavily on his right hand side. Schleck ripped his shorts and had road rash on his right buttock and hip, and also hurt his right wrist.

To compound his misfortune, he continued on a new bike but then suffered a puncture five kilometres later.

The combined delays saw him drop a massive ten minutes 47 seconds to stage winner Bradley Wiggins (Sky Procycling), placing 164th out of 171 riders. He is now over sixteen minutes back in the general classification. However his biggest concern was how things could have been more serious.

"I am happy to be sitting here in front of you and not in an ambulance," he said at the finish, according to Le Parisien. "I had a good rhythm, I started well. After that, the wind caught my bike and put me on the ground. This is a day to forget but I’ll start again tomorrow.”

According to RadioShack Nissan manager Johan Bruyneel, he was unable to settle back into his rhythm after getting a big scare. “You don’t expect to crash from a gust of wind,” he said. “But once that happens, you expect it all the time. What happened is really unfortunate. He is in the Dauphiné to try to improve his condition for the Tour. Now we'll have to wait to see the precise damage ".

Fortunately for the rider, initial indications are that he was not too badly hurt. He should be able to continue in the race, getting the benefits of a hard workout as the Tour approaches.

Schleck had said that he was going to push things in the mountains and see what he could do; it remains to be seen if the accident today will change those plans.

He has had a very frustrating race thus far, finishing 102nd in the prologue and being dropped on the first two road stages. The triple Tour de France runner-up revealed yesterday that he had recently suffered knee problems which disrupted his preparation. He insists that he is on course to reach peak form for the Tour de France.


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