Van Den Broeck aims to return to racing early in 2014

Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) has been given the all clear to start riding again following a season ending knee injury after crashing during the fifth stage of this year's Tour de France. The twice fourth place finisher at the Tour underwent surgery following the crash and since then has been on the long road to recovery.

"I have a turbulent period behind me now. I feel pretty good, although I would of course prefer to be racing. Much prefer," Van den Broeck told "You cannot believe how happy I was when I was told that I could ride.

"When I rode to the bakery the owner looked surprised when he saw me in my bike shorts in his shop. Normally I always do that trip by car. That was a fun moment. I have at times not been the most pleasant guy in the house. But it is getting better," said Van den Broeck.

On whether the recent crash would change the course of his career for the worse, Van den Broeck was confident he would be back on the top tier of world cycling soon, hoping to return to racing early next year.

"I never worried about the course of my career. I know I will achieve excellence again," said the 30-year-old. "The rehabilitation is going perfectly, I'm even slightly ahead of the proposed schedule. The last few sessions have shown that. Now I may gradually increase the exercise intensity, but should not overdo it. Within six weeks I will be able to train properly.

"My program for next year, that I do not know. Perhaps I will race my first kilometers at Paris-Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico."

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