Andy Schleck back on his bike but rules out Olympic Games
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Andy Schleck back on his bike but rules out Olympic Games

by VeloNation Press at 10:38 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
Vuelta uncertain for 2010 Tour winner?

Andy SchleckThe prospect of a showdown between Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck at the Vuelta a España remains uncertain, with the latter admitting that he is still suffering from the effects of the fracture he suffered last month, and his team ruling out his participation in the Olympic Games.

Schleck crashed in the time trial of the Critérium du Dauphiné and was diagnosed with a facture to his sacrum. He tried to return to training recently but experienced a lot of discomfort. This prompted him to undergo a MRI scan and other examinations in Basel, Switzerland, getting an update of his condition, and for the team to make tweaks to his bike position.

Schleck explained the discomfort he felt. “I went on my bike for the first time three weeks after the crash, but it had to step off almost immediately,” he said. “The recovery is not going as fast as I had hoped for, but the examinations of yesterday have shown that it's going in the right direction. I have been doing quite a lot of alternative sports, mainly swimming. Basically everything I can do without pain was good. I didn't want to believe that my season had come to full stop in that crash.”

According to the RadioShack Nissan doctor Andreas Gösele, the examination gave some reassurances. “Andy still experiences pain, so a new examination was necessary. The MRI scan showed clear signs of a good healing, but the fracture is not fully healed yet,” he said. “This makes us feel optimistic that with some minor modifications of his bike position – temporarily, of course - he can now look at being a pro cyclist again and train like his colleagues soon."

The team has moved his handlebars higher in order to take the stress off his hip. Schleck can train to whatever level is possible with the discomfort he is feeling, and is glad to be able to get some training in.

“I still have a little bit of pain in my new position, but it's good enough to try,” said Schleck. “We'll now have to see how the healing goes, but I can't wait for the day that I can race again. It's too early to make concrete plans for my return to competition, but I'm hopeful that I can still make something of my season."

According to team manager Johan Bruyneel said that his racing schedule will depend on his recovery, but rules out competing in London. “We're very confident that Andy will return to racing in the course of the current season, but it's unclear when and where,” he said. “The only certainty seems his absence from the Olympics, because they really come too early.”

In that light, being ready for the Vuelta a España in just over one month’s time seems unlikely. He may ride it, but surely won’t have the condition to square up against his old rival Contador.


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