Knee problems for Classics riders

Marcus Burghardt gritting his teeth, due to knee pain.

Marcus Burghardt gritting his teeth, due to knee pain. (Image credit: Bjorn Haake)

By Susan Westemeyer

Knee problems are popping up at the Volta ao Algarve and took two riders out of Thursday's second stage. Marcus Burghardt of Team High Road and Kevin Van Impe of Team Quick-Step were not able to continue.

Burghardt, 24, who won Gent-Wevelgem last year, is looking doubtful for Omloop Het Volk and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. After dropping out of Algarve with knee pains, he went to Munich for treatment by a specialist. "He injured his knee in a training accident this winter," directeur sportif Tristan Hoffman told "This problem must be cleared up first and only then can he think of the Omloop [Het Volk]."

Van Impe, 26, started having knee problems last season. He finished ninth in Paris-Roubaix, but the knee problems appeared after the Dauphiné Libéré, cutting into his season. "This is not the same problem," Van Impe told "It is the same knee, but the pain comes from my back and radiates to the knee." He was also going to a specialist for treatment. "I am not giving up. I think that it will be alright, but it is possible that I will not be able to ride in Het Volk."

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