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Cadel Evans (BMC) awaits the start of stage six.
BMC leader needs rest to heal quadriceps injury
A quadriceps injury will keep Cadel Evans from starting Sunday's Amstel Gold Race and defending his title at the Flèche Wallonne next week.
Evans hurt his right knee when he crashed on March 31 while riding near his Swiss home. BMC team doctor Max Testa said an MRI performed on Monday this week revealed there was a still a small bruise on the knee bone. "From a medical standpoint, he's out of competition for at least the next five days," Testa said. "Keeping him out longer will help the ultimate injury outcome and also give him time to get training to return on the top end."
Evans was disappointed not to be participating in the Ardennes Classics. "Normally, I thought I'd be back by now, but I had a check-up Tuesday and the injury has proven to be more of an obstacle than we first thought," he said. "What seemed and was first diagnosed as bruising to the vasto mediale has since been diagnosed as bruising also to the femur. Something that takes a little longer to heal.
"I had wanted to be a helper for Greg Van Avermaet at Amstel Gold and on a good level for Flèche Wallonne. But this won't be a long-term problem, especially for my preparation for the Tour. It's just a little hiccup along the way," added the 2011 Tirreno Adriatico winner.
BMC directeur sportif John Lelangue said the team's approach for Sunday's 260-kilometer race will not change. "We're still riding for Greg Van Avermaet, but we're losing a really good guy with Cadel - first as a teammate for Amstel and also as a leader for Flèche Wallonne," Lelangue said.
Barring any complications, Evans will return to action at the Tour de Romandie (April 26-May 1).
The BMC line-up for Amstel Gold Race will thus be: Marcus Burghardt, Matthias Frank, Martin Kohler, Jeff Louder, Manuel Quinziato, Ivan Santaromita, Mauro Santambrogio and Greg Van Avermaet.