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Luxembourg's champion, Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank)
New problem not a huge setback, Saxo Bank rider says
Despite pulling out of the Challenge Mallorca with a knee injury on Sunday, Andy Schleck is not worried about derailing his Classics or Tour de France campaigns. Schleck pulled out before Sunday's start with an inflamed knee and travelled home to Luxembourg. The Saxo Bank rider may yet return to Mallorca to train next week.
Speaking to Cyclingnews at Mallorca airport Schleck remained optimistic: "It's not really a huge setback to be honest. In cycling you're either sick or not sick. Injured or not injured but when you have something you have to get off the bike and get it taken care of and fixed."
"Of course I wanted to race here. Especially when I saw all the guys getting ready and getting on the team bus but I'm happy I've got this problem now and not in a month's time from now," the 24-year-old said.
Schleck arrived in Mallorca after a two week training camp in Fuerteventura and a quick pit stop back in his native Luxembourg. After three days of intense training with his brother Frank, Jens Voigt and Laurent Didier his knee began to restrict his
"I trained for three days and then the next day I felt pain and needed to see what it was. Our doctor arrived yesterday and he and the hospital have told me that I have an inflammation under my knee cap and it needs some days rest."
As for the cause of the injury Schleck could not be precise but offered alternative training as a possible explanation: "Maybe it was because back in Luxembourg due to the bad weather I've been doing a lot of other sports like cross country skiing. It's possible that my body isn't used to that type of exercise and that this is just a reaction to that."
Schleck's 2009 campaign was also hit by injury with the Tour runner-up forced off the bike with tendonitis in his ankle. However Schleck confirmed that after a few days of total rest he'd start training again and that his next race would be Ruta del Sol.
"I'm on the programme to do Ruta and from there I'll do Eroica and Tirreno. It's just this week that's effected. Perhaps I'll even come back here after the knee is fixed and do some warm weather training."