Bozic, Veelers, Traksel undergo surgery

Riders from Astana Pro Team, Team Argos-Shimano and Champion System Pro Cycling Team have been sidelined by injuries and are healing up in anticipation for their return to the peloton.

Borut Bozic (Astana) crashed while in the lead group at Paris-Roubaix and broke his right wrist, forcing the Slovenian champion to abandon. He underwent surgery in a Ljubljana hospital and returned home yesterday following a successful operation.

"The doctors put some metal pins in me, because the break was very complicated," said Bozic. "At most they say there is a six-week recovery process, but we will come back after one week for more consultation before we can make any decisions. The most important thing is that everything gets fixed and that my wrist is going to be ok.

"This is the first time I have ever broken my wrist, and it's quite painful," said Bozic. "I was okay to travel home Sunday night, but on the plane I began having really bad pain. My wife picked me up at the airport and we went immediately to the hospital for x-rays.

"On Wednesday, I went in for surgery, and I will go back on Saturday for a follow up consultation with the doctors here in Ljubljana."

Bozic has had multiple top-10 results thus far this season, highlighted by second place finishes at both Dwars door Vlaanderen and Gent-Wevelgem.

Team Argos-Shimano's Tom Veelers had surgery performed on his stomach at the Medisch Spectrum Twente in Enschede, the Netherlands, on Friday. The surgery went well, and Veelers will now take a period of rest and recovery.

"In recent years I've often had stabbing pains in my stomach area during races and I've had difficulty refueling and recovering after a hard effort," said Veelers. "I had some tests performed in January, which revealed that the artery leading to my stomach and small intestine was being pinched by a ligament. The surgery should have corrected this problem, and I hope to be able to return to the bike pain-free after I recover from the operation.

"We'll see how my recovery progresses, and I'll discuss with the sports managers my program leading up to the Tour de France, which I am hoping to participate in."

Champion System Pro Cycling Team will be without both Bobbie Traksel and Craig Lewis for upcoming races due to injuries suffered recently in and out of competition.

Traksel underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee earlier this week after experiencing pain in some early-season races. Despite the discomfort, he still earned most aggressive rider honors at the Tour of Oman and finished third on Stage 2 of Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen.

"I had already had a few weeks of problems with my right knee and the most important part of the spring was over," Traksel said. "It was a choice between surgery now or after the season. But to put it off any longer would have meant more problems and pain."

Champion System's general manager Ed Beamon said he hopes the 31-year-old Dutchman is able to return to competition in time for the Four Days of Dunkirk in early May.

Lewis will be out for an undetermined amount of time after breaking his right elbow in a crash during Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday.

"A crash happened to the left of me – maybe somebody overlapped a wheel or something," Lewis said. "Gerald Ciolek went over the handlebars into me and I went over him. Everybody else landed on the pavement, but I landed on this one little stretch of cobblestones off the side of the road."

Lewis had been slated to start the Giro del Trentino next week. Beamon said it is difficult to predict when the 27-year-old American will be able to return to action. Lewis's right arm is in a 90-degree cast for the next three weeks, making it impossible to train.

"It's a pretty big bummer because he was an important guy for Trentino and a really important guy for the Amgen Tour of California," Beamon said.

A two-time under 23 national champion, Lewis knows well the path back from injury. In 2004, he broke more than 40 bones when he was hit by a car in the Tour de Georgia. In 2011, he crashed and broke his left femur at the Giro d'Italia.

"My whole spring is a wash now," he said. "At least I can be fresh coming into the summer and fall and hopefully will be able to show myself then."

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