Niels Albert will miss at least the first month of the cyclo-cross season due to a knee injury. He twisted the knee in training last week and a hospital has now confirmed the injury, which he calls “a disaster”.
Albert, 24, missed the season-opening first race last weekend due to gastroenteritis. He had twisted his knee last Wednesday, but thought he could still ride, until the illness struck.
When he resumed training on Tuesday, he was unable to put any pressure on the knee. He had the knee check in hospital on Wednesday, and “they discovered a crack in the connection of the kneecap and muscle,” he told Sporza.
The BKCP Power Plus rider may not ride for two weeks and not race for a month, and will therefore miss the opening races of the Superprestige series, the Gazet Trophy series and the World Cup. “If I'm really unlucky I won't be back until November,” he said.
“My preparation for the season is for nothing,” he continued. “You have to see it this way: a two-week break means four weeks of training, three-week break means six weeks' training. I hope to keep it to two weeks, we'll see.”
The injury has already pretty much put an end to his ambitions for the season. “The rankings for the regular races are gone,” Albert noted. He will definitely miss the first Gazet Trophy and Superprestige race. The first World Cup race is in Aigle on October 17. “If I'm lucky I can ride it, but I will have to struggle to get a top 20 finish.”
"It's the first time I did something to my knee. For me, the fans, the team and the 'cross world, it is a disaster. If a winner fails, that's no fun for anyone," said Albert, who won the world title in winter 2009.