Fractured thumb for Gert Steegmans means changes to Cavendish's Algarve leadout
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fractured thumb for Gert Steegmans means changes to Cavendish's Algarve leadout

by Ben Atkins at 10:14 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Volta ao Algarve, Injury
 
Winter gloves spare Belgian hardman more serious injury

gert steegmansOmega Pharma-Quick Step roadman/sprinter Gert Steegmans will be forced to site out this week’s Volta ao Algarve after sustaining a broken finger in a training crash. The Belgian was due to be part of the lead out for former World champion Mark Cavendish as he seeks to continue his stellar season to date.

“I was riding back towards Monaco after training and simulating some sprints,” Steegmans explained. “In a split second I ended up on the ground. Right away I could tell there was something wrong with my right hand. So I went to the hospital and they diagnosed a fracture to my thumb.

“Fortunately, I was wearing winter gloves and so I avoided further complications,” he added.

Steegmans was not part of the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team that helped Cavendish to four stage wins and overall victory in the Tour of Qatar at the beginning of the month, but was due to ride in service of the Manxman in Portugal. Instead Steegmans’ place will be taken by Czech rider Frantisek Rabon, who - like the Belgian - began his season at the Santos Tour Down Under in January.

"I’m really sorry that I won’t be lining up for the start of the race,” explained Steegmans. “I’m in good form and I wanted to be useful to the team and ride some good lead outs for Cavendish.

“Oh, well, tough luck…” he concluded. “I’m sure I’ll get another chance very soon.”

The 32-year-old Belgian will observe a few days of rest and, so long as there are no complications, return to full training. The date of his return to racing, however, is not yet known.

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