Barry Markus and Romain Feillu both out of Vacansoleil-DCM Giro d’Italia team with injury
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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Barry Markus and Romain Feillu both out of Vacansoleil-DCM Giro d’Italia team with injury

by Ben Atkins at 3:17 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Injury
 
Scaphoid fracture and torn thigh muscle for Dutch team’s top sprinters

romain feilluVacansoleil-DCM is facing a forced change of plans for the Giro d’Italia, which starts in Naples on May 4th, as both of the Dutch teams top sprinters will miss the race through injury. 21-year-old Dutchman Barry Marcus has been challenging many of the sport’s fastest in the early races of the season, but has suffered a fractured scaphoid bone in his wrist and will be forced to wear a cast to allow it to heal properly. Frenchman Romain Feillu (pictured), meanwhile, crashed out of last week’s GP Denain, and suffered a torn thigh muscle that will keep him out for several weeks.

“We were hoping to really surprise everyone in the first stages of the Giro,” lamented directeur sportif Jean-Paul van Poppel, a former top sprinter himself. “They are tailor made for Markus and this season he has already shown that he can go to battle with Cavendish. After De Gendt’s stage win and third place overall in last year’s Giro our goal was to show up with a versatile team, capable of competing in all types of stages. It will be much harder for us in the flat stages now.”

Team manager Dan Luijkx is obviously disappointed to lose his two fastest riders for the first Grand Tour of the season, but is trying to maintain a positive outlook.

“Never before did we experience this much bad luck involving our top riders,” he said. “Add to this the physical problems that [Tomasz] Marczynski and [Thomas] De Gendt had to overcome,  but we will end up by getting lucky eventually.

“I’m impressed by the way these men stayed focused while they were recovering and I am glad that riders like [Björn] Leukemans and [Juan Antonio] Flecha have been present and up to par in this spring’s classics. All that these two need now is a bit of luck to make it to the podium, but they’ve been there every single week so far.

“These experienced riders received excellent back-up from our promising young riders and I am pleased to witness the dedication within the group,” Luijkx added. “Then we also have the tremendous comeback of Wout Poels going for us. Once the others get back to their normal level our strength will get noticed even more.”

Despite the numerous injury experienced by Vacansoleil-DCM this season there is some good news for the team as Johnny Hoogerland is set to return to racing for the first time since his training accident of February 3rd. The 29-year-old from Zeeland, in the south east Netherlands, was training in the Ardennes last week, and will start in the Tour de Romandie on Tuesday.

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