Andy Schleck made his return to racing today after nearly four months away from competition following a broken hip sustained in the Critérium du Dauphiné. The RadioShack-Nissan rider did not finish the Binche-Tournai-Binche, but said the race left him confident he will be able to start at the Tour of Beijing next week.
According to the RadioShack team website, Schleck has been training in his home country leading up to his return today, but isn't ready to call his return "a come back".
"My pelvis still hurts sometimes but I can ride. To be clear: that inconvenience is not the reason why I stopped today, and please don't call this my come back. My real come back will be next year when I will be in good shape at the start of 'my' races. I am motivated!"
Schleck survived in the fast-moving, single-file peloton for 130km before abandoning at the start of the finishing circuits in today's race, saying "it was enough for me".
"It was hard, but I am very happy to be back in the peloton," said Schleck. "It was not the ideal race for me to come back in the peloton – flat, fast, rain, wind, almost a Flanders Classic – but I don't regret it. It was a nice feeling to see the people waiting and cheering for me," said Andy, referring to the big crowds gathered by the team bus and along the roadside."
Schleck is due to start in the final WorldTour race of the season, the Tour of Beijing, which begins October 10.
"I feel confident to start next week in China. The weather over there will be better anyway and the roads as well. I really look forward to it."