Steegmans back in action after all, returns in Vuelta a Castilla y León
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Steegmans back in action after all, returns in Vuelta a Castilla y León

by Conal Andrews at 7:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Castilla y León
 

Despite several reports originating from the Belgian media that he would miss the race, Gert Steegmans decided to compete after all in the Vuelta a Castilla y León. The Team RadioShack sprinter finished 81st on the opening stage to Burgos.

He thus showed decent condition after a long break from racing, conceding just 54 seconds to the main bunch.

“I’m definitely happy about my performance,” he said, according to Sporza. “I could however feel that I am missing the rhythm of racing.”

Cervélo Test Team rider Theo Bos was first to the line, outpacing Graeme Brown (Rabobank) and Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel-Euskadi). As a double stage winner in the Tour de France, Steegmans could normally expect to have been in with a chance of taking the victory. However following a very unlucky start to the season, he’s happy to just build form for now.

“If I manage to finish this five-day, I’ll be very satisfied,” he said.

Steegmans has twice been in hospital this year due to crashes. He hit a parked car on stage three of the Volta ao Algarve, then was blown off his bike during the prologue of Paris-Nice. The second incident caused a broken collarbone, and yesterday represented the first time he was able to race since then.

Today’s stage is 209.9 kilometres from Burgos to Palencia. It’s lumpy but with only one categorised climb, another bunch gallop is very likely.

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