Andy Schleck forced to again postpone return to racing
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Andy Schleck forced to again postpone return to racing

by Shane Stokes at 12:11 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
No GP Fourmies due to ongoing pain from Dauphiné injury

Andy SchleckAndy Schleck’s hopes of bouncing back from the most frustrating period of his career have been foiled yet again, with the residual after-effects of his crash in June’s Critérium du Dauphiné still being felt.

Last Friday l’Equipe said that he would pin on a number again for Sunday’s GP Fourmies; however those plans have changed today, and he’ll no longer take part.

“The shooting pain when I go on longer rides still cannot be denied. It starts from the hip and it moves down to the leg,” he said today. “It makes no sense to appear at races where I might not be able to even reach the finish line.”

The RadioShack Nissan rider lacked good results earlier in the year but hoped to reach top form in time for the Tour de France. However he was clearly some way off his best in the Critérium du Dauphiné. The situation became a lot worse when he crashed in the time trial, forcing him to pull out.

Schleck indicated at first that the problem was not too serious, and that he still had time to be ready for the Tour. However he underwent a scan on June 12th and this showed that he had fractured his sacrum, the area 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, then his next scheduled event, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

He’s understandably frustrated but if it becomes possible, he will compete in the weeks ahead to build a base for next season.

“I'm very disappointed that I couldn't show anything so far this year,” he said. “This has been a dreadful season for me and I desperately want to put it behind me. I still hope to return to racing before the season ends.”

Schleck has had a tough year in other respects: there has been friction and delayed payments at his RadioShack Nissan team, and his brother and best friend Frank Schleck tested positive for a diuretic during the Tour de France.

He recently had a disciplinary hearing and is awaiting the outcome of that.


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