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by Mark Zalewski
April 5, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Albasini wins sprint on second stage of Pais Vasco, Matthews retains lead; Jules wins Circuit Cycliste Sarthe opener; Carpenter, Winder win Joe Martin Stage Race in Arkansas; Flanders champ Gilbert to skip Paris-Roubaix; Naesen taking aim at Paris-Roubaix; Sinkeldam tapped for Sunweb in Paris-Roubaix; Leopold König unable to race Giro due to injury; Scheldeprijs set to honour Boonen in his final Belgian race; Keagan Girdlestone completes first race as recovery continues to go well; Chris Hoy looking to ride across Antartica; Video: Meet Sarah Hammer; Video: Ride. Run. Play. Episode 1; Video: High Country Charity Ride.
BORA-hansgrohe’s GC leader Leopold König will be unable to race the first Grand Tour of the season, the Giro d’Italia, as he is still suffering from a persistent knee injury that dates back to last season. While he has been able to train at low intensity, harder efforts still result in pain and the team’s medical staff decided a full rest is the best course of action.
“I really tried everything in the last weeks,” said König. “I don’t feel it on easy rides, that’s why I kept training and hoping. But whenever we started with intervals I felt pain and we had to take it easy again. So, we ended up making new plans week after week, which makes at some point no sense any more.
“I will take a rest now to fully recover and then start building up again for the second part of the season. For sure I am disappointed, not only for myself, but also for the team. They did everything to build a strong line-up around me. Now I hope they still can do a good race in Italy without me, maybe it’s even a good opportunity for the young guys to take their own chances and show their potential.”
“We have to take care about the health of our riders, that’s one of the main priorities,” said sport director Enrico Poitschke. “At the point we are now, there was no other option than to give Leo the time he needs to fully recover, even if this means a big regression to our Giro campaign. I am confident that he will come back even stronger in the second half of the season.”
König, 29, came to the team with a three-year contract after spending two years on Team Sky. He won a stage of the Vuelta a España and finished ninth overall in 2013 while racing for the ProContinental team NetApp-Endura.