The Trek Factory Racing team has lost Andy Schlek in stage four of the Tour de France.
Injuries sustained in a crash have proved too much for the racer. The crash occurred inside the final 30km, and cost him over a minute in time.
His team issued a statement via Twitter: “We are sad to announce that Andy Schleck cannot take the start in Le Tour today. The ligaments and meniscus in the right knee are too severely damaged from his crash in yesterday’s final. He will travel to Basle now for examination and a possible operation.”
Schlek confirmed this statement with one of his own, “Very disappointed to let you know that I will not be able to start. My knee is too damaged from the crash. This is a huge blow for me.”
Later, Schlek indicated he had intended to participate in stage four despite the pain of his injuries.
He issued a statement on his team’s website which read in part, “I went on the rollers as soon as we arrived in Le Touquet, to get the muscles and tendons warmed up, but the pain is too much. I believed until that moment that I would start. I think I ignored the pain somehow, hiding it in the back of my head.”
His team doctor, Andreas Gösele has confirmed that Schlek will need to “undergo an MRI-scan of the knee and we will subsequently decide if an operation is necessary.”