Quick Step: Chavanel, De Weert and Maes make up trio of Paris-Nice casualties
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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Quick Step: Chavanel, De Weert and Maes make up trio of Paris-Nice casualties

by VeloNation Press at 12:49 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
The Race to the Sun rains down on Belgian team

The 2011 edition of Paris-Nice has shown difficult times to the Belgian Quick Step team, with several riders preparing for the upcoming Classics having to abandon the week-long race.

Kevin De Weert was the worst of the bunch, and has been hospitalized at the Clinic at St Imelda in Bonheiden.  The Belgian was involved in a crash during stage two of the race, and managed to ride on for a few days despite a nasty wound to the top of his right leg, just across from his groin.  However, the mountains of the 194 kilometer stage five from Saint-Symphorien-sur-Coise to Vernoux-en-Vivarais proved too much for De Weert, and he abandoned along the route.  He's expected to have a short-stay at the clinic while he undergos antibiotic treatment to prevent infection, and the doctors examine his right knee.

Nikolas Maes was involved in a crash the day after his teammate, and hit the pavement on the 202.5 kilometer ride from Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire to Nuits-Saint-Georges.  He finished the day, but didn't start stage four.  Maes said he was back on his bike today, and trained for three hours.

"I still have muscular pain due to the hard fall on concrete," explained Maes. "I am nevertheless satisfied to have been able to train only a few days after the accident. We will see how things evolve in the next few days."

Quick Step's overall hope for this year's Paris-Nice, Sylvain Chavanel, decided not to start today's penultimate stage.  The Frenchman has been battling bronchitis for the past several days, and decided to pull the plug to recover from the illness.  The team said Chavanel will undergo examinations over the next several days.  He has less than a month to get back on track for his next big objectives across the cobblestones.


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