Andy Schleck to return in Binche-Tournai-Binche/Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke race?
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Andy Schleck to return in Binche-Tournai-Binche/Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke race?

by Shane Stokes at 2:09 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
Long time on the sidelines may be nearing an end

Andy SchleckHe’s hoped to get back to racing on a number of occasions but after being forced to scratch the Tour de France, then the Olympic Games, the Vuelta a España, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and, most recently, the GP Fourmies from his schedule, there are indications that Andy Schleck might be about to return.

According to Le Quotidien, the 2010 Tour de France victor and double runner-up is pencilled in to take part in the upcoming Binche-Tournai-Binche Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke next Tuesday October 2nd. It states that Schleck’s RadioShack Nissan team told race director Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke that the rider will take part.

If so, the development is a relief for the Luxembourg rider, who was determined to try to race before the end of the season in order to make his return to form next year a little easier.

Having finished just behind Cadel Evans in last year’s Tour and the being awarded the 2010 title this year after CAS ruled against Alberto Contador in his Clenbuterol case, Schleck was aiming to try to win this year’s race on the bike, entering Paris in yellow and soaking up the plaudits he missed two years earlier.

He was facing a tough task due to a flatter-than-usual route plus an over-emphasis on time trials, his bête noir.

However rather than reaching an extra high level of performance to compensate for those issues, he struggled to get results this year.

Facing a race against the clock to get ready in time, he rode the Critérium du Dauphiné with the hopes of posting a decent ride there and boosting his morale.

Instead, he was dropped on the early climbs and then crashed heavily in the time trial. He subsequently withdrew when it became clear he was struggling with injuries.

At first Schleck suggested 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.

As a result he missed a string of races, including the Tour and Olympics.

“I'm very disappointed that I couldn't show anything so far this year,” he said recently, when confirming that he wouldn’t be able to ride Fourmies. “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.”

His fans will hope that he is now sufficiently healed to take part in Binche-Tournai-Binche Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke, and that he can thus begin his first steps towards a far more productive 2013.


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