The Vuelta al Pais Vasco starts tomorrow. The Radioshack-Leopard team has named its line-up for the race. But one rider is missing from the original schedule. Chris Horner will miss the race due to a knee problem.
The 41-year-old American withdrew from the Volta a Catalunya two weeks ago. His team says in a pres release that the rider was suffering with suffering with an iliotibial band friction syndrome.
The American traveled to Basel in Switzerland last week for treatment. Now he is back at home in Bend, Oregon. He is expected to be back in training next week and maybe he will be back in form for the Amgen Tour of California in May.
In his absence, Andreas Klöden, Maxime Monfort and Haimar Zubeldia will be the leaders of the RadioShack-Leopard team.
Andy Schleck will also race, just as Matthew Busche, Laurent Didier, Ben Hermans and Jens Voigt.
Defending Tour of Flanders champion Tom Boonen did not win the race this year. The Omega Pharma QuickStep rider crashed out of the race after 19km, suffering injuries and it is likely to mean the end of his Spring classics campaign, thus meaning he wil not ride the Paris-Roubaix. The three time Tour of Flanders winner was taken to hospital, luckily the x-rays revealed no fractures. However, he injured his left knee, elbow and hip in the crash.
The team said that Boonen has a contusion at his left hip, as well as a wound on his left elbow. He also has a contusion and a wound on his right knee that required a few stitches.
"I was behind Stijn (Vandenbergh) and we were riding on the side of the group," Boonen said in a statement.
"The speed was really high. The peloton swung a bit on the left and we were following, when suddenly I hit a plastic sign on the road. In a moment I went on the ground. I couldn't even breathe at the beginning. I understood immediately that something wasn't good. I had pain especially on the left side of my body. Then I saw also a deep wound on my right knee and I understood that my race was over."
The team has now decided that Boonen will not ride Paris-Roubaix.
"It's really not an option" Boonen said.
"It's hard to renounce a race like that, but I really can't ride. I have a lot of pain and in the next days for sure it won't be better. Unfortunately 2013 is not really my year, not my number. I had too much troubles this year and than this. Now I really have to be careful with my physical problems. The elbow and the hip are really swollen and painful, all the left part of my body is sore."
The Omega Pharma-Quickstep team manager Patrick Lefevre told Sporza that it would not be a great idea to start the race now.
“Riding Paris-Roubaix with stitches isn’t a good idea. To be ready for Paris-Roubaix he needs to train 250km tomorrow or the day after. That’s not possible. He’s had a lot of bad luck ever since December,” Lefevre said.
Marianne Vos (Rabobank) won the 2013 women’s Tour of Flanders. Ellen Van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon) and Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) finished behind the Dutch rider in the sprint. Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products UCK) finished fourth.
This was Marianne Vos first victory in Tour of Flanders.