Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider Levi Leipheimer has said that he is “lucky to be alive” after being hit from behind by a car while on a solo training ride ahead of the Tour of the Basque Country. The news takes some of the shine off what had been a great day for the team with Tom Boonen’s victory in the Tour of Flanders.
In a statement, the Belgian team said: “Leipheimer suffered soreness and swelling to his lower left leg.
“He was transported to the hospital where an echo was performed.
“No broken bones were found, and there is hope that the injury is just a muscle contusion to his left calf.”
The 38-year-old, who joined his current team from RadioShack at the end of last season, has returned immediately to California, where he will undergo further tests.
"I was kind of in shock, you know," he explained. "The bottom line is it was super scary and I am lucky to be alive.
“I'd also like to add that the team has been really supportive.
“The doctor here took great care of me, Ro, who handles all our travel did a great job at making sure I get home really early, and I've received good messages from the team.
“I'm really thankful for that."
Leipheimer is the second high-profile rider to have been injured in a training ride in the space of 24 hours, the two incidents happening on opposite sides of the globe.
Earlier today, we reported that Australia’s Shane Perkins suffered bruising and a sprained wrist while training in his home city of Melbourne, where he plans to defend his world kierin title later this week.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.