Leopold Konig (Bora-Hansgrohe) has been ruled out of the Giro d'Italia after his team confirmed that their GC hope is suffering from a knee injury. The team confirmed that the rider is suffering from the injury that derailed his 2016 campaign at Team Sky.
"I really tried everything in the last weeks. I don't feel it on easy rides, that's why I kept training and hoping. But whenever we started with intervals I felt pain and we had to take it easy again," Konig said in a statement released by his team.
"So, we ended up making new plans week after week, which makes at some point no sense any more. I will take a rest now to fully recover and then start building up again for the second part of the season. For sure I am disappointed, not only for myself, but also for the team. They did everything to build a strong line-up around me. Now I hope they still can do a good race in Italy without me, maybe it's even a good opportunity for the young guys to take their own chances and show their potential.”
Konig has finished in the top 10 in all three Grand Tours and claimed sixth in last year's Giro d'Italia while riding in Team Sky colours. He won a stage in the 2013 Vuelta a Espana and finished ninth overall. A seventh place in the 2014 Tour de France earned him a ride at Team Sky, but the two years were relatively disappointing with the rider returning to the Bora set up [ed. previously known as NetApp Endura] at the start of 2017.
"We have to take care about the health of our riders, that's one of the main priorities,'' director sportif Enrico Poitschke said.
“At the point we are now, there was no other option than to give Leo the time he needs to fully recover, even if this means a big regression to our Giro campaign. I am confident that he will come back even stronger in the second half of the season."
Bora are expected to send Sam Bennett to the Giro in order to compete in the sprint stages.