Andy Schleck finally due to return to racing in nine days’ time
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Friday, August 31, 2012

Andy Schleck finally due to return to racing in nine days’ time

by Shane Stokes at 7:48 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
 
Luxembourg rider had been out of action for nearly three months

Andy SchleckAndy Schleck’s push to come back from serious injury moves to the next step on September 9th when he finally makes his return to competition in the GP Fourmies in France.

The RadioShack Nissan rider has not raced since he withdrew from the Critérium du Dauphiné in June, his body too sore to continue after he crashed during the time trial.

He initially indicated that the problem was not too serious and that he still had time to be ready for the Tour. However a scan on June 12th revealed that he had fractured his sacrum, where the spinal column joins the pelvis. A slow recovery from this caused him to first miss the Olympic Games, then the Vuelta a España.

He was scheduled to return in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge but that plan was also abandoned.

Concerns that he might miss the rest of the season have now proven unfounded, with l’Equipe stating that he’ll resume competition in nine days’ time. If that goes to plan, he’ll then ride the GP de Wallonie on Sptember 12th, then the GP Impanis - Van Petegem three days after that.

However directeur sportif Alain Gallopin cautions that he’s still feeling pain. “It reappears after three hours of training. It hurts on the flat, when he has his hands on the drops. Last week, he rode mountains in Switzerland and that went well.”

It appears unlikely Schleck will reach sufficiently high level of form to go to the worlds with any real ambitions. He’ll hope to put in a good ride somewhere between now and the end of the season, although the biggest focus is likely to be putting a block of racing kilometres in so that he can build a good base for 2013.

Schleck finished second in last year’s Tour and this February was upgraded to first in the 2010 edition when the Court of Arbitration for Sport disqualified Alberto Contador over a positive test for Clenbuterol. He said that he wasn’t happy with the manner of the victory and wanted to ride into Paris in the yellow jersey.

Next year’s Tour is rumoured to be a very mountainous one; if so, Schleck will feel positive about his chances. When on form, he is one of the best climbers in the sport.

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