By Susan Westemeyer
Marcus Burghardt was the sensational discovery at the Spring Classics in 2007, winning Gent-Wevelgem for his first professional victory. The youngster was expected to lead Team High Road in the Classics again this year, but instead, has had to renounce all the spring races due to knee problems.
The 24 year-old had surgery on his left knee in 2006 after missing much of that season. He re-injured that left knee in December while training, but was able to ride in the Tour Down Under in January. During the team's subsequent training camp in California it looked like things were going well again, but in his very next race, the Volta ao Algarve, "Burgi" had to drop out of the first stage with pain in his right knee. The diagnosis was tendonitis and he was forced to take a break from riding.
He hoped to take his first training ride on Tuesday, and if all goes well, then he will fly to Mallorca on Sunday for further training, he told the German newspaper Die Freie Presse.
Burghardt will totally miss the spring season this year, but he won't let that get him down and was looking forward to other goals. "When my form is good, then I will want to be at the start again of the biggest stage race in the world, the Tour de France. And I also want to secure myself a starting place in the Olympic games in Beijing."