Schleck lowers Paris-Nice ambitions after crash in Andalucia

After falling victim to a massive crash in the opening stage of the Vuelta a Andalucia last week, Trek Factory Racing rider Fränk Schleck is doubtful he can be on top form for Paris-Nice next month.

The Luxembourg champion was part of a pile-up near the finale of stage 1a when a Team Sky lead-out man swung off and took out Blel Kadri (AG2R-La Mondiale). Kadri was only the headpin, and when he fell, almost the entire peloton came tumbling to the ground as a result.

Schleck had difficulty walking after the crash and did not start the afternoon time trial. After arriving back in Luxembourg, he was diagnosed with a deep muscular hematoma in his quadriceps.

"Today I went to the hospital for another MRI and the conclusion was that it's healing, slowly, but it's healing," Schleck said today. "It's still very painful, but the doctors assured me I will be fine. They are letting me do some riding on the CycleOps and maybe by the end of the week I can ride on the road.

"It's too early to say if I will be at the start of Paris-Nice, but it's not impossible. We'll have to see how everything evolves. For sure, the race can't be a performance goal for me anymore because I lost four valuable days of racing and I'm not training 100 percent yet. To be fully competitive in Paris-Nice, I would need to be doing intervals, motor pacing, etc. right now. The directors will take the right decision."

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