Cofidis looks to extend with Belgium's Spring sensation
Jens Keukeleire, who burst on to the pro scene with a series of wins for Cofidis this spring, has broken his left wrist in a training accident. The Belgian, who is also currently negotiating a contract extension with his French team, will be out for at least a month.
On Wednesday, Keukeleire was being motorpaced when he crashed. According to his personal website, he had been travelling at 65km/h when he hit a large stone in the road. He thought he was uninjured, but doctors discovered the a break in his wrist and the injury has been set in a plaster cast.
Keukeleire has had to cancel his planned start in the Tour of Belgium next week, but anticipates being able to ride again in the Belgian national championships the end of June.
The 21-year-old first-year pro got off to a spectacular start this year by winning Le Samyn, the opening stage and the overall title in the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen and Nokere Korse, all within a 14 day period. After a pause in racing, he had returned to ride the Tour de Picardie last weekend.
Earlier this month, Cofidis started negotiations to extend his contract, which currently runs through to the end of 2011. However, his manager, former professional Nico Mattan, told the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws that things weren't going well.
"Cofidis wants Jens to remain, but obviously they want him as cheaply as possible," Mattan said. "We must find a happy medium."
"Keukeleire does not need to earn 200,000 euros a year, but he should not ride for 40,000 euros, either," Mattan said. .
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