Schleck to race Vuelta despite crash

Andy Schleck, second in the Tour de France, said yesterday he will race the Vuelta a España stage race despite crashing Saturday in Spain's Clásica San Sebastián.

"I won't be there to win, I am too young to fight for the classification in two three-week stage races in one year. Of course, if I am doing well I will try," Schleck told Cyclingnews.

Luxembourg Champion Schleck fought for the win the Tour de France last month and finished second to Alberto Contador by 4'11". He won the best young rider classification for the second consecutive year. His brother Fränk finished fifth overall.

A crash in the San Sebastián one-day race one week later nearly ruined Schleck's autumn plans. He slipped on painted road markings at kilometre 49 and slid off the road. He returned to the race, but later abandoned with back and knee pain.

"My whole body was really sore the day after the crash, but I feel a lot better today," Schleck said yesterday. "My knee was swollen a bit. I was worried about my knee, but there is no problem now."

Schleck skipped training on Sunday and resumed yesterday at home in Luxembourg. He said he felt a lot better and a doctor's visit was unnecessary.

Schleck's next race will be his debut appearance in the Vuelta a España, August 29 to September 20. "I am riding it basically to prepare for the end of the season, Worlds and [Giro di] Lombardia."

Schleck won the Liège-Bastogne-Liège one-day race this year and is a favourite for Worlds and Giro di Lombardia. He finished fourth in Italy's Giro di Lombardia one-day race two years ago. He pulled out of the 2007 and 2008 World Championships.

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