Former Belgian TT champion Hoste without a contract
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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Former Belgian TT champion Hoste without a contract

by Shane Stokes at 9:33 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Is multiple Ronde van Vlaanderen runner-up set to retire?

Leif HosteTriple Tour of Flanders runner-up Leif Hoste could be facing the end of his career with the news that his current Verandas team will not extend his contract.

The 35 year old Belgian dropped to Pro Continental level this year after his previous employer, Team Katusha, offloaded him at the end of last season.

The Belgian had not been at his best for several years, but any hopes of a good 2011 Classics campaign were dashed when he had a big crash on stage one of the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde. He banged his head on the road, sustaining a deep gash to his eyebrow, and broke a front tooth.

The biggest problem ended up being the concussion he suffered plus the headaches which plagued him for months.

In August 2011 he told Het Laaste Nieuws that the cause of those headaches had been determined: he had a small tear in his brain. “I lose cerebrospinal fluid through the crack, so I get headaches at the slightest exertion,” he said then. “This can be solved with blood patches or with surgery. Hopefully, the misery will now be over quickly.”

That issue eventually was resolved but the Katusha team didn’t stick with the multi-year contract he had been given. He said that he hoped his previous team setup would take him back, but the Lotto-Belisol squad didn't do so.

As a result he dropped down a level to the Verandas team, where he hoped to be able to prove his worth this year.

However injury issues continue to plague him. His best result was seventeenth in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. That’s a long way from the best results of his career, which include those three runner-up slots in the Tour of Flanders, two stages and the overall title at the 2006 Three Days of De Panne, plus the 2001 and 2006 Belgian national time trial championships.


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